Republican delegates booed Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) on Saturday over his two impeachment votes against former President Donald Trump, with some calling him a “traitor.”
Romney appeared to address his party’s 2021 state convention, but the boos rained down on him just as he walked onto the stage. But the 2012 presidential loser quickly turned the tables on his detractors.
“Aren’t you embarrassed?” Romney said as he stood on the stage at the Maverik Center in West Valley City, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
He went on to defend himself to the crowd.
“I’m a man who says what he means, and you know I was not a fan of our last president’s character issues,” said Romney, the only Republican senator to vote to convict Trump in his first impeachment trial and one of seven to vote to convict after a second impeachment trial the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.
Delegates were unimpressed, with some shouting “traitor” and “communist.”
But Romney, 74, fired back. “You can boo all you like,” the former governor of Massachusetts said. “I’ve been a Republican all of my life. My dad was the governor of Michigan and I was the Republican nominee for president in 2012.”
“So yeah, I understand that I have a few folks that don’t like me terribly much and I’m sorry about that. But I express my mind as I believe is right and I follow my conscience as I believe is right,” Romney added.
Later in the convention, delegates moved to censure Romney for his actions, but the effort narrowly failed, with a final vote on the motion with 798 for and 711 against.
One convention delegate, Salt Lake County delegate Emily de Azavedo Brown, said they delivered a message to Romney. “If the point of all this is to let Mitt Romney know we’re displeased with him, trust me, he knows,” he said, according to The Daily Mail. “Let’s not turn this into a Trump or no Trump thing. Are we a party of principle or a party of a person?”
Utah’s Republican Governor, Spencer Cox, also drew boos when he took the stage, with many upset over strict COVID-19 restrictions.
“I know some of you hate me for some of the decisions I had to make,” Cox said. “But I want to point out that some of you haven’t been paying attention.”
Cox went on to defend his actions, saying, “We’ve also had zero restrictions on religious gatherings since October, and after this school year ends, there won’t be any more masks in schools.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Mike Lee, another Republican, was cheered when he addressed the crowd.
Lee ripped Democrats for twice impeaching Trump and praised the Founding Fathers for laying down a sound foundation. But Lee said of Democrats, “Their whole agenda is wrapped up around one idea: unquestionable trust in government.”
“There are some truths we can never betray,” Lee told the convention attendees. “We are the stewards of our own destiny.” Lee said President Joe Biden does not agree, seeking to increase government power.
“He wants us dependent on government,” Lee said, adding that Biden wants “to extend lockdowns. We want to end them!”
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