McCain is wrong on Romania
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As reported in The New York Times on Friday, June 3, when asked about presumptive GOP nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign: Trump and former vice president will have phone call about coronavirus Esper: Military personnel could help treat coronavirus patients 'if push comes to shove' Schumer calls for military official to act as medical equipment czar MORE's numerous anti-constitutional comments, Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP senator suspending campaign fundraising, donating paycheck amid coronavirus pandemic Biden's pick for vice president doesn't matter much Juan Williams: Biden's promises on women are a big deal MORE (R-Ariz.) stated:

"I still believe we have the institutions of government that would restrain someone who seeks to exceed their constitutional obligations. We have a Congress. We have the Supreme Court. We're not Romania."

His comment about Romania is both insulting and factually incorrect.

Beginning in 1991, Romania returned to a bicameral parliamentary system following the Romanian revolution of 1989 and the end of the country's communist dictatorship. The Constitutional Court of Romania adjudicates on matters of constitutionality, while the High Court of Cassation and Justice serves as the country's supreme court and court of last resort.

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Although Romania has been challenged in many areas since the fall of communism, including economic development, anti-corruption efforts, and ensuring the integrity and impartiality of its institutions, it has also made significant strides. Romania has been part of the European Union since 2007 and participates with major EU institutions. For the past 20 years, the country has been an increasingly strategic military partner to the United States. This year alone, the U.S. launched a new missile defense system in Romania to be operated by NATO, of which Romania has been a member since 2004.

It is disappointing that McCain would choose to misrepresent and insult another country in his attempt to justify Trump's missteps. As McCain himself has been on the receiving end of insulting and inflammatory comments made by Trump regarding his service record, one would have assumed that he would speak to the press with heightened sensitivity and tact.

McCain's position in Congress demands that he hold himself to a higher standard of public commentary. The respect that many Americans have for his views as a leader in the Senate influences their judgment and opinions. Others follow his lead and his thinking.

On behalf of the approximately 1 million Americans who are fully or partially of Romanian ethnicity, I would ask that the senator execute this responsibility carefully in his public discourse and refrain from using Romania, or any other country, as fodder for political maneuvering.

Hatcher is a Romanian-American who works in health policy and strategic planning in Washington.