Romney says he laughs at term ‘America first’

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said he laughs at the term “America first,” an increasingly common phrase heard in the Republican Party regarding U.S. foreign policy that he finds “disorienting.”

Romney said during an interview with MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle” earlier this week that growing isolationism in the GOP is “unimaginable” considering its past leaders, like former Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, as well as former Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Romney argued the term, popularized by former President Trump, “flows” in from talk radio and TV, where “outrageous” things are embraced by the party’s base.

“Many in our party have followed that populist streak, which is, ‘Hey, stop worrying about the rest of the world, just worry about what’s going on here,’” Romney said on MSNBC. “What they’re forgetting is that we are connected to the rest of the world, that our economy is connected to the rest of the world. That if we had had that attitude then, you know, Germany would’ve ended up ruling the world, all right.”

“We’re involved in the world out of our own self-interest, and I laugh at the phrase America first,” he added. “I know it typically means isolationism, but really, America is putting ourselves first when we’re involved in the world, when we stop bad people.”

Romney, who is a vocal Trump critic, said the America first approach will not maintain a “safe and prosperous” world for U.S. citizens, arguing that Russian President Vladimir Putin would keep marching further into Europe if he is not fully deterred in Ukraine.

“Look, if Vladimir Putin goes, not just through Ukraine, but then decides to go into Poland, then we’re involved in a conflict with our sons and daughters going to war,” he said in remarks highlighted by Mediaite. “Or we could walk away from NATO, in which case Putin is going to keep on going and going.”

“How about a world where China and Russia control the world and we have our own little island? That’s not a world where Americans are going to be safe or prosperous,” Romney said. “We’re safe and prosperous when the world follows the orders that have existed over the last 75 years.”

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