- Romney attacked Biden’s handling of the economy in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.
- “President Biden needs to ditch his woke advisers,” he said, blaming the stimulus for record inflation.
- He suggested exploring potential benefit cuts in safety net programs to deal with rising debt.
Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah tore into President Joe Biden’s handling of inflation on Wednesday, setting fire to the administration’s handling of the economy and inflation as Americans grapple with the worst price increases in decades.
“President Biden needs to ditch his woke advisers and surround himself with people who want to get the economy going again,” Romney wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.
He blamed the Biden administration for stoking inflation with a stimulus bill that issued ‘stay-at-home’ checks for Americans, and citing measures such as oil and gas production limits. and a pro-union position. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A former GOP presidential candidate, Romney remains a fairly staunch conservative when it comes to economic and foreign policy. The Utah Republican said in his op-ed that he favors Congress creating a bipartisan commission to “rescue our federal rights programs from impending collapse.”
Last month, Romney suggested he would support cutting pension benefits — without mentioning specifics — for young Americans as a way to get the national debt under control.
He has charted a more centrist course in recent years in other areas, notably when it comes to opposing former President Donald Trump. Romney was the first senator in American history to vote to convict a president of his own party facing impeachment. He was the only Republican to vote to convict Trump in his first impeachment for pressuring Ukraine to investigate Biden’s family and one of seven to vote to convict Trump of inciting to the Capitol insurrection on January 6.
Since Biden took office, Romney was just one of three GOP votes to confirm Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, one of 17 Republicans to vote for the $1 trillion infrastructure plan. billion from Biden and one of six Republicans to vote for an independent commission to investigate the January 6 attacks.
“I sincerely mean it — but I want to thank three Republicans who voted for Judge Jackson,” Biden said outside the White House on April 8 while celebrating Jackson’s historic confirmation. “And Mitt Romney, whose dad stood up like he did. His dad stood up and made those civil rights decisions.”
Romney’s push to make Biden more moderate on economic policy underscores a growing Republican talking point. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell recently said that if the GOP takes over the Senate, it will “make sure Joe Biden is a moderate.”
But these comments ignore that Biden won the 2020 with one of the most progressive political platforms in history. Far from being a bait and switch, Biden and his allies have sometimes been quite explicit about how liberal the former vice president would be if he won the White House.
Romney’s attacks illustrate how Republicans want to use historic inflation to hit Democrats ahead of November’s midterm elections. The consumer price index, a closely watched gauge of inflation, rose 8.5% year-on-year in March, the biggest one-year rise in 40 years.
Axios reported this week that Republican lawmakers have mentioned inflation six times more than Democrats since Jan. 1.
“In any crisis situation, the first three rules are focus, focus and focus,” Romney writes. “President Biden’s national focus must be on inflation.”