Mitt Romney: 'I Think That President-elect Biden Is a Clear-Eyed and Intelligent Individual'

Susan Jones | December 21, 2020 | 5:39am EST
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Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) is frequently at odds with his fellow Republicans. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) is frequently at odds with his fellow Republicans. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

( - President Donald Trump "has a blind spot when it comes to Russia," Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said on Sunday. In the same interview with CNN's "State of the Union," Romney had praise for Democrat Joe Biden:

I think that president-elect Biden is a clear-eyed and intelligent individual. And he's going to assess Russia and their capabilities in an appropriate way. But I also think that he will look at China and recognize that, long term, China is the more significant threat to America.

Russia is, if you will, a gas station parading as a country, as John McCain used to say. And they have got extraordinary difficulties, and they're lashing out in a moment of decline.

China, of course, is emerging stronger and stronger, and presents an extraordinary threat to freedom around the world and to our prosperity here. And so that's going to be the more significant challenge that will be faced by a new president.

Romney made the comments while discussing the extensive and threatening cyberattack against the United States, which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has blamed on Russia.

But on Saturday, President Donald Trump tweeted:

The Cyber Hack is far greater in the Fake News Media than in actuality. I have been fully briefed and everything is well under control. Russia, Russia, Russia is the priority chant when anything happens because Lamestream is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of discussing the possibility that it may be China (it may!). There could also have been a hit on our ridiculous voting machines during the election, which is now obvious that I won big, making it an even more corrupted embarrassment for the USA. @DNI Ratcliffe @SecPompeo

Romney said the invasion of U.S. cyberspace is "extraordinarily dangerous" and requires a response of similar magnitude:

And just to put it in context, if you think back 20 years ago, when we were attacking Baghdad, you saw these cruise missiles being launched from ships going across the landscape, and then taking out the communications towers, the utility towers and so forth, because you can cripple a country by doing so.

Well, what Russia has done is put in place a capacity to potentially cripple us, in terms of our electricity, our water, our communications. I mean, this is the same sort of thing one can do in a wartime setting.

And so it's extraordinarily dangerous. And it's an outrageous affront on our sovereignty, and one that's going to have to be met with a very strong response, not just rhetorical, important as that is, but also with a cyber-response of like magnitude or greater.

Romney called the attack "a big wakeup call" for the United States: "And I think we're going to have to really rethink our military and national security readiness when it comes to cyberspace, because this is the warfare of the future. And I hope that we get ourselves up to the capacity you would expect the strongest, greatest nation on Earth to have."

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