Is Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), as the online crowd likes to say, based?
On Tuesday, the Utah senator appeared to plant his flag in the ground on the side of Republicans who do not want a clean Ukraine funding bill — while pointing to the disaster at the southern border.
“Dems want $106B—GOP wants a closed border. That’s the trade,” Romney wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
Based on that first line, the rest of the message could have gone in a couple of different directions. He could have taken a more elder statesman approach and waxed eloquent about working to find a bipartisan solution.
Or, given his more moderate views, he could have spoken about how Republicans are endangering democracy abroad by trying to force a deal on the border in exchange for Ukraine funding.
Instead, Romney went on to savage the Democrats, writing, “Clueless Dems want to negotiate the border bill. Not going to happen.”
Dems want $106B—GOP wants a closed border. That’s the trade. But clueless Dems want to negotiate the border bill. Not going to happen. Is an open border more important to Dems than Ukraine and Israel?— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) December 5, 2023
Finally, he asked a key question Democrats will have to grapple with if they decide they are going to demand funding for Ukraine with no other provisions as though they still had control of both chambers of Congress.
“Is an open border more important to Dems than Ukraine and Israel?” Romney asked.
Newsmax’s Bradley Stein reacted to Romney’s post, writing, “Romney appears to back tying Ukraine funding to a border overhaul. Major blow to Dems and huge win for [Speaker Johnson].”
Meanwhile, Punchbowl News’ Andrew Desiderio noted, “Wow — not usually the tone you hear from Romney.”
Wow — not usually the tone you hear from Romney https://t.co/QR6EkHI5Rl— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) December 5, 2023
The fight over funding comes as the White House warned money for Ukraine has run out, which could mean Ukrainians will not be able to keep fighting off Russia’s attempt to take over the country.
Defending Ukraine is in the United States’ interest. It helps defend a democracy in the reason and is forcing Russia to expend massive amounts of resources and degrade its military abilities without having to put U.S. boots on the ground. And it sends a message to other countries that such acts of aggression will not be tolerated and it will cost you heavily if you try it.
But that doesn’t mean the U.S. should keep sending Ukraine money while ignoring its domestic priorities. This decision by President Joe Biden has helped stoke anger and hatred toward Ukraine as Americans see billions of dollars going overseas while the southern border is a mess and millions are illegally entering the country every year.
The 2023 fiscal year was the third year in a row to set records for the number of illegal border crossings, with over 2.4 million apprehensions of migrants. And that comes after Biden’s asylum changes that were made to try to show he was taking the border seriously — so we see how well those worked in terms of curbing illegal immigration.
House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) told the president the House would not approve funding for Ukraine without the “enactment of transformative change to our nation’s border security laws.”
“The American people feel very strongly about this, and I do as well. We have things that we can and should do around the world, but we have to take care of our own house first,” Johnson said about the plan to combine border security and Ukraine funding in November. “As long as the border is wide open, we’re opening ourselves up for great threats. And again, it’s just a matter of principle that if we’re going to take care of a border in Ukraine, we need to take care of America’s as well.”
The conflict in Ukraine has been going for almost two years while the border has essentially been wide open. And the U.S. is a big enough country. It can and should assist Ukraine while making sure it is taking the necessary to steps to secure its own border and people.
If Democrats want to throw a fit about that and draw a line in the sand and object to funding Ukraine, they can have fun with the ads attacking them for caring more about Europeans and open borders than Americans in 2024.