On the 11th Hour with MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle this week, Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) slammed the America First movement, isolationism, and right-populist commentators like Tucker Carlson, arguing instead that interventionism is crucial for America’s self-interest.

“For someone like me it’s unimaginable, that in the party of Ronald Reagan, and George Herbert Walker Bush, and George W. Bush, and John McCain, and others, that we would see a growing isolationism within our party,” he began, conjuring up the Mount Rushmore of pro-interventionist Neoconservatives.

He then went on to blame “talk TV, talk radio, the Tucker Carlsons of the world” that say “outrageous things,” feeding into the allegedly ill-informed prejudices of the conservative base. “Many in our party have followed that populist streak,” he continued, implying that the America First movement in Congress stems from an ignorant and ‘trashy’ source, unworthy of being taken seriously.

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Romney then attacked the idea that we can ignore the “rest of the world,” arguing that our economy is deeply connected to the global stage. “If we didn’t have that attitude then Germany would have ended up ruling the world,” he said. He finished by saying a world ruled by China and Russia would be terrible for America, implying China and Russia would somehow take control of all of America’s allies if we did not aggressively fund and start wars.

Romney also said President Joe Biden should have pardoned Donald Trump from the indictments he received from the Department of Justice (DOJ). He also suggested Biden should persuade prosecutors to end their legal challenge against him in the hush money trial—not out of legal and republican principle, but because Romney believes it is playing into Trump’s favor.

“[Biden] should have fought like crazy to keep this prosecution from going forward,” Romney said. “It was a win-win for Donald Trump.”

Earlier this week, anti-Trump Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) argued that Israel should be given nuclear weapons and granted ‘permission’ (read: America’s official support) to use them on the Gaza Strip.

Political commentator Dave Smith appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show this week to talk about neocons and related topics for two and a half hours, hitting on their history, legacy, and their lingering ability to influence policy.

Shane Devine is a writer covering politics and business for VT and a regular guest on The Unusual Suspects. Follow Shane’s work here.

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