News & Politics

Bizarro: AOC Praises Mitt Romney as GOP Senator Joins the Yang Gang During Coronavirus Crisis

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, center, talks with reporters as he heads to the Senate for a vote, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

On Monday, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) endorsed Andrew Yang’s proposal for a universal basic income during the coronavirus crisis. This led Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to express rare praise for someone on the other side of the aisle.

“Every American adult should immediately receive $1,000 to help ensure families and workers can meet their short-term obligations and increase spending in the economy,” Romney reportedly told The New York Times‘s Jonathan Martin.

CNN congressional correspondent Phil Mattingly shared Romney’s entire proposal sheet, which also includes grants to impacted small businesses, Pell Grant alterations for students and loan deferments for graduates, and more. Romney, who ran as a fiscal conservative in 2012, appears to have endorsed massive government intervention in the economy to fight the coronavirus.

Yang, whose 2020 presidential campaign focused on a $1,000-per-person-per-month UBI plan, retweeted Martin’s message.

AOC celebrated Romney’s UBI endorsement.

“GOP & Democrats are both coming to the same conclusion: Universal Basic Income is going to have to play a role in helping Americans weather this crisis,” she tweeted.

True to form, however, AOC expressed skepticism of any UBI plan that doesn’t involve a whole host of other “progressive” tweaks.

“Cash is important but if you do it w/o payment suspensions then it’s still everyday people footing the bill. Corporations, lenders, and banks need to do their fair share. UBI shouldn’t be used as an excuse for not pausing mortgage & student loan payments, halting interest, etc.,” she tweeted. AOC has compared UBI policies to a “Trojan Horse” in the past.

Many marveled at Romney for joining “the Yang Gang.”

Mitt Romney may really support a UBI to help the American people, but he is also associating himself with a Democrat policy — likely aiming for the kind of attention he received by becoming the first U.S. senator to vote for the impeachment and removal of the president of his own party.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.