Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, on Friday backed President Trump’s stance on the partial government shutdown, backing his call for a wall on the southern border and saying he doesn’t understand Democrats’ positioning on the issue.
“You (Pelosi) and your fellow Democrats have voted for over 600 miles of border fence in the past, why won’t you vote for another few miles now?” said Romney, speaking in Ogden, Utah after visiting with officials about the shutdown’s impact on the community. “I don’t understand their position, I really don’t.”
The stalemate was sparked by Republicans and Democrats unable to come to an agreement on Trump’s call for $5.7 billion for funding for a wall or barrier on the border. Democrats have said they won’t go close to that number, and have instead offered less than $2 billion for more general “border security.”
According to The Associated Press, Romney backed Trump and said that the U.S. deserves border security — including a barrier on the southern border.
While Romney is a fellow Republican, he has been a frequent critic of Trump, particularly Trump’s conduct in office. Earlier this month, he made headlines with an op-ed in The Washington Post where he said Trump’s behavior “is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office.”
Romney, who ran for president in 2012, said Trump should be bringing the country together, and demonstrate “the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect.”
Trump responded to the Post op-ed a day later: “I wish Mitt could be more of a team player. I am surprised he did it this quickly. If he fought really hard against President Obama like he does against me, he would’ve won the election.”
On Friday, he called on both sides to “make a deal” and end the situation by which federal workers are not being paid.
“On policy, it strikes me like there’s not a big gap but the politics have drawn people into different corners,” Romney said.
He also said he planned to keep working other senators to find temporary solutions — such as making sure essential government employees working still get paid.
And on Saturday, after Trump rolled out a proposal to end the shutdown — essentially offering some relief for so-called Dreamers brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents as children, in exchange for the border barrier funding — Romney sounded a note of approval for the proposal via Twitter.
“@POTUS has put forth a reasonable, good faith proposal that will reopen the government and help secure the border. I look forward to voting for it and will work to encourage my Republican and Democratic colleagues to do the same,” Romney wrote.
.@POTUS has put forth a reasonable, good faith proposal that will reopen the government and help secure the border. I look forward to voting for it and will work to encourage my Republican and Democratic colleagues to do the same.
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) January 19, 2019