Sen. Mitt Romney has not spared any effort in criticizing former President Donald Trump, but the Utah Republican “trusts” Joe Biden instinctively to negotiate on infrastructure in good faith, he said Sunday.
According to Yahoo News, the anti-Trump senator told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he takes Biden “at his word” after Biden, who he called a “man of honor,” indicated he was walking back a threat to veto a bipartisan infrastructure deal that Romney helped negotiate.
Biden walks back infrastructure ultimatum
Biden, at a press conference Thursday, had left Republicans blindsided when he said he would not sign a $1.2 trillion deal unless a more ambitious package is also passed through budget reconciliation, which would allow Democrats to work unilaterally.
But the president later said it was “certainly not my intent” to suggest he would not back the bipartisan deal. Asked if he trusts Biden, Romney said that he did.
“I do take the president at his word. And over the weeks and weeks of negotiations with Democrats and with the White House on an infrastructure bill, the president’s other agenda was never linked to the infrastructure effort,” he told Tapper, according to the New York Post. Pressed by Tapper, Romney reiterated:
I do trust the president, and he made very clear in the much larger statement that came out over the weekend…carefully crafted and thought through piece by piece, as that if the infrastructure bill reaches his desk, and it comes alone, he will sign it.
GOP Sen. Mitt Romney says he believes there are enough Republican votes to support the negotiated, standalone, bipartisan infrastructure deal and that he takes Pres. Biden “at his word.”
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) June 27, 2021
The feeling is apparently mutual, as Biden himself said Thursday: “Mitt Romney has never broken his word to me.”
Biden, a bipartisan? Really?
Republicans have hammered Biden nonstop over his party’s infrastructure demands, which they say is really a partisan wish list only tangentially related to repairing roads and bridges.
Romney, for his part, said that Republicans are prepared to support “true infrastructure” and that the ball is now in the Democrats’ court. He also acknowledged that Democrats do have larger ambitions, despite what he took to be a sincere concession from Biden.
“At the same time I recognize that he and his Democrat colleagues want more than that, they want other legislation as well,” he said, according to The Hill.
Which version of Joe Biden has Mitt been talking to? Is it the same guy who passed his $2 trillion COVID relief bill along strictly partisan lines? Whose party is pushing to kill the Senate filibuster? Is that Romney’s idea of “bipartisanship?”
With Republicans like Romney, who needs Democrats?