Sen. Mitt Romney blamed former President Donald Trump’s policy of “America first” after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation in Ukraine.
“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,'” Romney said in a statement released on social media Wednesday evening.
Romney’s statement hinted at Biden’s attempt to “reset” the relationship with Russia at the beginning of his term, but more aggressively criticized Trump’s “America First” foreign policy.
The Utah senator, and failed presidential candidate, also took a shot at former President Barack Obama who beat him in 2012 for the presidency.
“The ’80s called’ and we didn’t answer,” Romney said, referring to a moment in the 2012 presidential debate when Obama dismissed his concerns about the threat that Russia posed to the world.
Under Trump, Putin did not make any additional significant actions against Ukraine, although he annexed Crimea in 2014 under former President Barack Obama’s administration when Biden was vice president.
Romney said that Putin’s “tyranny” in Ukraine “falls on America as well” and predicted additional aggressive actions from Russia in the future.
“History shows that a tyrant’s appetite for conquest is never satiated,” he wrote.
Romney did not call for military action against Putin but called for “the harshest economic penalties” on Russia for their actions.
He also called for “the expansion and modernization” of America’s national defense.