“I’ve got morons on my team”

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah on Sunday blasted his fellow GOP members who attended a White nationalist event and those who support Russia President Vladimir Putin as the country invades Ukraine.

“Look, there is no place in either political party for this White nationalism or racism. It’s simply wrong … it’s evil as well,” Romney told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.” “(Rep.) Marjorie Taylor Greene and (Rep.) Paul Gosar, I don’t know them, but I’m reminded of that old line from the ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ movie where – where one character says, ‘Morons, I’ve got morons on my team.’ And I have to think anybody that would sit down with White nationalists and speak at their conference was certainly missing a few IQ points.”

The comment from Romney follows criticism from Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, a Republican, of Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona for speaking at the America First Political Action Conference that took place in Orlando, Florida and was organized by White nationalist Nick Fuentes. Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, also a Republican, criticized Greene and Gosar. Greene spoke at the event in person and Gosar, who attended the same conference last year, appeared through pre-recorded remarks.

“As Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene and Rep Paul Gosar speak at this white supremacist, anti-Semitic, pro-Putin event, silence by Republican Party leaders is deafening and enabling,” Cheney tweeted Saturday. “All Americans should renounce this garbage and reject the Putin wing of the GOP now.”

Fuentes, who has been labeled a White supremacist by the US Department of Justice and the Anti-Defamation League, has been banned from most major social media platforms for his White nationalist rhetoric.

Should be an interesting struggle to watch…within the Republican Party. Not unlike the sort of pitched battles early days of the modern civil rights movement – between Centrist Democrats and the so-called Southern Democrats. Opportunism didn’t prevail then. Kissing racist butt was no longer enough to get you re-elected. I wonder if today’s Republicans will have the courage and fortitude to fight the same fight.