Former President Donald Trump thanked the Utah GOP for booing Republican Sen. Mitt Romney at the state convention Saturday.
‘So nice to see RINO Mitt Romney booed off the stage at the Utah Republican State Convention,’ Trump sent out in a statement Monday afternoon. ‘They are among the earliest to have figured this guy out, a stone cold loser!’
Trump and Romney have had bad blood for years – with Romney among the handful of Republicans publicly critical of Trump during the 2016 campaign – and voting to convict him of impeachment charges twice.
Former President Donald Trump thanked the Utah GOP for booing Republican Sen. Mitt Romney at the state convention Saturday
Former President Donald Trump applauded Utah Republicans for booing GOP Sen. Mitt Romney at a weekend convention
Sen. Mitt Romney was heckled on Saturday at the Republican Party 2021 Organizing Convention in West Valley City, Utah
More than two thousand Utah Republicans booed Romney as he arrived to speak at a convention in Utah
During a speech at a GOP convention in Utah on Saturday, more than two thousand attendees booed Romney.
The vocal backlash came after Romney, who represents Utah in the U.S. Senate, narrowly avoided censure by the state’s GOP over impeachment votes.
‘Aren’t you embarrassed?’ said Romney in response to the catcalling as he walked onto the stage.
‘I’m a man who says what he means, and you know I was not a fan of our last president’s character issues,’ he said.
Shouts of ‘traitor’ and ‘communist’ could be heard from the crowd.
‘You can boo all you like,’ Romney continued. ‘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.
Romney managed to elicit a few cheers when he asked the crowd if they were fans of Biden.
‘So, what do you think about President Biden’s first 100 days?’ Romney asked.
The motion for Romney to be censured narrowly failed, 798 to 711, in a vote by delegates to the state GOP convention.
At one stage, the Chairman of the Utah GOP, Derek Brown, interrupted Romney’s speech to tell the rowdy crowd to simmer down.
Despite the negativity, Romney ended his speech on a positive note.
‘We need to come together in strength and unity,’ he said.
Davis County delegate Don Guymon, who authored the censure resolution, said Romney’s votes to remove Trump from office ‘hurt the Constitution and hurt the party.’
‘This was a process driven by Democrats who hated Trump,’ Guymon said. ‘Romney’s vote in the first impeachment emboldened Democrats who continued to harass Trump.’
The proposal, among several platform changes debated Saturday, also sought to praise the other members of Utah’s congressional delegation for their support of the former president.
President-elect Donald Trump and Mitt Romney were pictured in an awkward dinner date at Jean Georges restaurant in New York City in November 2016
Trump and Romney were also pictured weeks after Trump won the election in 2016 where the two discussed the possibility of a cabinet position for Romney
Others warned supporting the censure risked defining the party around Trump, instead of the conservative principles most delegates treasure.
‘If the point of all this is to let Mitt Romney know we’re displeased with him, trust me, he knows,’ said Salt Lake County delegate Emily de Azavedo Brown. ‘Let´s not turn this into a Trump or no Trump thing. Are we a party of principle or a party of a person?’
Romney was one of seven GOP senators who voted to convict Trump for inciting the deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
The Senate ultimately voted 57-43 to acquit the former president, failing to meet the 67-vote threshold to convict.
Romney is not facing re-election in 2022.
Fellow GOP Sen. Susan Collins told CNN’s Jake Tapper that she was appalled’ when she saw video of Romney being heckled.
‘Mitt Romney is an outstanding senator who serves his state and our country well,’ she said on CNN’s ‘State of the Union.’ ‘We Republicans need to remember that we are united by fundamental principles, such as a belief in personal responsibility, individual freedom, opportunity, free markets, a strong national defense.’
‘We are not a party that is led by just one person,’ Collins insisted, adding the GOP ‘remember Ronald Reagan’s admonition to Republicans that the person who agrees with you 70 or 80 per cent of the time is your friend, not your enemy.’
Senator Susan Collins said she was ‘appalled’ when she saw video of fellow centrist Republican Mitt Romney being booed and heckled at a GOP conference in his home state of Utah
Collins and Romney were two of the seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial earlier this year for inciting the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.
In her CNN interview, Collins also defended Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who, as Republican Conference chairwoman, is the No. 3 Republican in the House.
‘Liz Cheney is a woman of strength and conscience,’ the Maine senator said. ‘And she did what she felt was right. And I salute her for that.’
‘We need to be accepting of differences in our party,’ Collins drove home. ‘We don’t want to become like too much of the Democratic Party, which has been taken over by the progressive left. We need to have room for a variety of views.’
Cheney was the highest-ranking Republican in the House to vote in favor of impeaching Trump for the second time.
Trump has called for the Republican Party to oust both Romney and Cheney.
Trump also took aim at Cheney Monday, sending out a statement suggesting she would lose her 2022 re-election bid.
‘Heartwarming to read new polls on big-shot warmonger Liz Cheney of the great State of Wyoming. She is so low that her only chance would be if vast numbers of people run against her which, hopefully, won’t happen,’ Trump said. ‘They never liked her much, but I say she’ll never run in a Wyoming election again!’