GOP Sen. Mitt Romney said the possibility of Americans and Afghan allies being left behind in Afghanistan would be a “moral stain,” and blamed both the Trump and Biden administrations for the chaotic exit from Afghanistan.
“This is the result of very ineffective decisions, terrible decisions made by the prior administration and by the current administration,” Romney told CNN on Sunday.
“This did not have to happen. It was preventable,” Romney continued.
Some more context: In an interview on ABC, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said there are roughly 300 American citizens still in Afghanistan looking to leave the country.
Romney warned the American withdrawal from Afghanistan increases the likelihood of a Taliban-sponsored attack on Americans, and claimed the likelihood is higher today than when the US first entered Afghanistan 20 years ago
“We went to Afghanistan because we got attacked on 9/11 and lost thousands of American lives. Now, America is in more danger. The decision to pull our military of Afghanistan puts us in greater danger,” Romney said.
Romney said he welcomed the Afghan evacuees arriving in the US, and distanced himself from Republicans who have criticized the relocation of Afghan allies to the US on the basis of restricting immigration.
“I believe in their heart of hearts that they recognize that we have a moral responsibility, and in keeping with our national character, we welcome people into our country who seek asylum, and those particularly who have fought alongside our troops,” Romney said.
When asked about Utah native Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin Taylor Hoover, a Utah native, who was killed in an attack at Kabul airport on Thursday, Romney called him “an American hero” and praised the sacrifices of all 13 service members who died in the attack.
“It’s an extraordinary sacrifice they make and is very much in keeping with our extraordinary national heritage,” Romney said.