Sen. Mitt Romney condemned baseless claims of election fraud as “stupidly self-defeating and despicable” on the heels of Tuesday’s midterm that left Republicans and Democrats waiting to see who will control Congress.

Doubts sown by both parties about the integrity of elections must be addressed, the Utah Republican wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Thursday.

“It comes mostly from the GOP, but Democrats aren’t without sin,” he said, adding that despite some irregularities in any election, there is no evidence of organized fraud or voter suppression that would have changed the outcome of a recent state or federal race.

In a tweet linked to the op-ed, Romney called out the “pervasive” trend of election denying.

“The world is in a pitched battle between authoritarianism and democracy, and the bad guys are winning. Spouting baseless claims of voter fraud is self-defeating and imperils democracy here and abroad,” he said.

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In the op-ed, Romney wrote that the world looks to the United States as a model of free and fair elections.

“If we don’t have faith in our own system, how can we expect democracy to work elsewhere?” he wrote. “While authoritarians in Russia and China are advertising an alternative to government of, by and for the people, spouting evidence-free claims of election fraud is stupidly self-defeating and despicable.”

Romney was one one of the first Republican senators to acknowledge Joe Biden won the 2020 election, something many members of his party initially refused to do. He also called on former President Donald Trump to stop perpetuating the “big lie” that the election was stolen. Romney blames Trump for the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Trump continues to make false claims of election fraud as he looks to potentially launch a reelection bid in the coming weeks.

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Depending on the outcome of several key races, the Republican Party could hold majorities in one or both houses of Congress. And if the GOP does take control, Republicans will have a choice to either pass meaningful legislation or pursue “pointless” investigations, message bills, threats and government shutdowns, Romney said.

“Two roads are available. I hope Congress and the White House engage to make a difference rather than to make more noise,” he said.

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Romney listed several issues that need bipartisan attention including inflation, federal spending, the national debt, immigration and climate change.

Rather than crossing its fingers that the Federal Reserve will fix inflation, Congress could help by increasing legal immigration, expanding the number of work visas in sectors that face worker shortages, securing the border, reducing tariffs on U.S. allies, facilitating oil, gas, nuclear and renewable development, and reining in spending, he said.

“Excessive spending and the deficit have been the Republican Party’s bugaboo for years,” Romney said. “But like the Democrats, we shy away from telling the American people the truth that the spending problem isn’t primarily due to the annual budget.”

He noted that two-thirds of federal spending is automatic and nondiscretionary such as for Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. It’s that spending, he said, that is growing faster than the economy. No amount of trimming what the federal government allocates for defense, education, the environment or housing will be enough to balance the budget, he said.

Romney said excessive spending not only adds to the national debt but causes inflation.

“The Fed has its foot on the brakes while the administration and Congress are flooring the gas pedal,” he said.

Romney has voted for several bipartisan spending bills that other members of Utah’s all-Republican congressional delegation opposed, including the $1.2 trillion infrastructure measure and a $908 billion COVID-19 relief package.

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The immigration “mess” also figured prominently in the midterm election, Romney said, adding politicians have railed against it for 25 years but done almost nothing to fix it.

He said he asked a leading Democrat why his party hasn’t worked to secure the border, especially because its failure to do so gives Republicans a huge advantage in swing states such as Arizona and Nevada.

“His answer: ‘You don’t understand the power of the immigration lobby.’ Madness,” Romney wrote in the op-ed.

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To make a difference on climate, Romney said, Congress should focus on measures to reduce emissions globally, not just in the U.S. That means funding research on technologies that can be adopted around the world, slapping penalties on imports from prolific emitters and giving the private sector incentives to innovate solutions, he said.