Incoming Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) revealed he would support President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall one day after publishing an opinion piece in The Washington Post critiquing nearly everything about the current administration.
“I would vote for the border wall,” Romney, former Republican presidential candidate, told CNN’s Jake Tapper in a Wednesday afternoon interview.
“We should have a wall on the southern border,” the former governor of Massachusetts added.
While he considers the government shutdown ― which has gone on for nearly two weeks ― an “unfortunate” situation, Romney did not directly criticize it. Trump has pledged to continue the shutdown for “as long as it takes” to secure federal funding for his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall, which would come with a multibillion-dollar price tag, even though the president has previously said that Mexico would pay for it.
The senator-elect appears willing to fall in line with Trump over his most divisive campaign promise, even though he believes the president is causing “dismay around the world” and tension in America, as he wrote for The Post in the piece published Tuesday morning.
“It is well known that Donald Trump was not my choice for the Republican presidential nomination. After he became the nominee, I hoped his campaign would refrain from resentment and name-calling. It did not,” Romney wrote. “His conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions this month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office.”
The senator-elect lamented the recent departures of former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
He also pledged to “speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions,” he wrote.
The wall has been criticized as a symbol of racism that would not effectively stop people without documents from crossing the border.
For the op-ed, Romney earned a rebuttal from Trump, who floated a comparison to outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a frequent Trump critic who nonetheless largely voted in line with the president’s policies.
“I won big, and he didn’t,” the president wrote, appearing to reference Romney’s failed 2012 campaign. “Be a TEAM player & WIN!”