Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Photo: Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images

Utah Senate candidate Mitt Romney on Monday called out Republicans for failing to fight for their longtime goal of lowering the country’s deficit, arguing that the party has "become silent" on the issue.

"Republicans have been shouting about this as long as I can remember. ... But now that Republicans are in charge in Washington, we appear to have become silent about deficits and debt."
— Romney in a statement on his Senate campaign website.

Why it matters: The national deficit grew by 20% ($75 billion) over the past year, partially due to President Trump's tax cuts, and is expected to balloon to $1 trillion by 2020, according to the Congressional Budget Office's latest report. Republicans also passed a sweeping $1.3 trillion spending bill earlier this year which has contributed to the rise.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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What Matters 2020

The missed opportunities for 2020 and beyond

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Jason Armond (Los Angeles Times), Noam Galai, Jabin Botsford (The Washington Post), Alex Wong/Getty Images

As the 2020 presidential campaign draws to a close, President Trump and Joe Biden have focused little on some of the most sweeping trends that will outlive the fights of the moment.

Why it matters: Both have engaged on some issues, like climate change and China, on their own terms, and Biden has addressed themes like economic inequality that work to his advantage. But others have gone largely unmentioned — a missed opportunity to address big shifts that are changing the country.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.