US Senator Mitt Romney said Monday night that the US response to vital international problems is hampered by a catchy focus on “small-caliber” cultural arguments.
The Utah Republican was the keynote speaker at a Zoom Lecture sponsored by the Institute of Politics at Florida State University. The program is part of the institute’s efforts to strengthen democracy through civil discussions on issues and promoting public engagement.
The 2012 Republican presidential candidate spent most of the half hour discussing the economy, cybersecurity, global competitiveness and Chinese politics.
He predicted that the current congressional stalemate on infrastructure spending and social programs will improve, as Democrats grow worried about their position in the polls and President Biden’s image in as a leader.
“Something will be done because, frankly, the president and his party are really in trouble right now,” Romney said. “The polls show that the American people are truly upset by the lack of accomplishment of the president and his party.
“The Democratic Party is really hurting in the polls, so I think in the end it’s going to focus enough minds among Democratic senators and Democratic Congressmen to do something about it.”
FSU President Richard McCullough welcomed Romney to the conference and Al Cardenas, two-time Florida GOP president, led questions on high-profile topics. The two men said they hope the IOP can promote civic engagement and learned exploration of the issues facing the nation.
Romney told Cardenas he was surprised to find that despite the strongly partisan climate in Washington, members of Congress are getting along well and working together behind the scenes.
But their rhetoric for public consumption is often meaner than it should be, he said.
“There are a lot of people who are concerned, like you Al, about the growing anger and the crass nature of the comments that are being exchanged between politicians these days and between people,” he said. .
“Frankly, I think a lot of it starts at the top. We had leaders of the nation who called on our best angels – Abraham Lincoln was one – and then we had others who, by their own words and actions, tried to take advantage of the weaker side. dark of human nature.
He did not mention any names in the latter category, but said responsible leaders on both sides would eventually emerge and put an end to hostilities.
“I think President Biden is a good person,” Romney said. “I don’t know if he still has the presence, his, to make that kind of change, but I think we’ll see that eventually. I hope so.
But in the meantime, he said partisan fire on hot issues can ignite voters from either party – sometimes to the detriment of major climatic and economic events that will affect the country’s future.
“Our politics today are mired in social issues and cultural issues and small-caliber policy issues as opposed to the big issues we face,” Romney said.
Bill Cotterell is a retired reporter from the Democratic Capitol Tallahassee. He can be contacted at [email protected]
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