- The Washington Times
Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Sen. Mitt Romney condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a statement late Wednesday that also took a shot at both of America’s last two presidents, including a famed line thrown at him by Barack Obama.

The Utah Republican blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine on a decade and more of U.S. weakness, also alluding to former President Donald Trump’s foreign-policy slogan.

“Putin’s impunity predictably follows our tepid response to his previous horrors in Georgia and Crimea, our naive efforts at a one-sided ‘reset’ and the shortsightedness of ‘America First,’” he said.

Mr. Romney once was ridiculed by Mr. Obama, when the two men faced off in a 2012 presidential debate, for having called Russia the top geopolitical threat to the United States.

“The 1980s, they’re now calling to ask for their foreign policy back,” Mr. Obama said, to cheers from liberals eager to paint Mr. Romney as out of touch on foreign policy.

Mr. Romney’s Wednesday statement clapped back at that line.

“The ‘80s called and we didn’t answer,” he said.

His statement also called Russia‘s actions “without justification, without provocation and without honor” and called for a firm response.

“America and our allies must answer the call to protect freedom by subjecting Putin and Russia to the harshest economic penalties, by expelling them from global institutions, and by committing ourselves to the expansion and modernization of our national defense,” Mr. Romney said.

“The peril of again looking away from Putin’s tyranny falls not just on the people of the nations he has violated, it falls on America as well. History shows that a tyrant’s appetite for conquest is never satiated,” Mr. Romney added in his statement.

• Guy Taylor can be reached at gtaylor@washingtontimes.com.

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