Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah will not be invited to this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference after he sided with Senate Democrats in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
On Friday, Romney — who in 2016 made his distaste for Trump the core of the GOP’s failed “never Trump” movement — voted with Democrats to call witnesses in Trump’s impeachment trial. Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine was the only other GOP senator to support calling witnesses.
That led to a tweet from conservative Matt Schlapp of the American Conservative Union.
“BREAKING: The ‘extreme conservative’ and Junior Senator from the great state of Utah, @SenatorRomney is formally NOT invited to #CPAC2020,” he tweeted.
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) January 31, 2020
The conference, which takes place next month, is one of the major events for America’s conservatives. Romney has addressed the conference in the past. It is not known if Romney was planning to attend this year.
Schlapp was not alone in criticizing Romney.
The Club for Growth is running an ad against him.
“Unfortunately, Mitt Romney continues to side with Democrats in their sham impeachment of President Trump, and voters deserve to know about his support of radical-liberals and their attempts to undo the results of the 2016 election and reverse the enormous economic gains achieved under Trump,” David McIntosh, the president of Club for Growth, said in a statement, according to The Hill.
“There’s Mitt Romney, threatening to vote with Democrats again to trot out spotlight-seeking blowhards who will trash President Trump on the witness stand,” the ad said in its opening.
Others took to Twitter to criticize Romney.
Romney getting much-deserved massive backlash for backstabbing President Trump
CPAC just dropped the hammer on him 😆https://t.co/xF4L6FRA9S
— Wayne Dupree 🎙🎥 (@WayneDupreeShow) February 1, 2020
Mittens Romney sided with the Democrats – and tried to get other Republicans to join him in betraying the President.
We CANNOT take 5 more years of him in the Senate!!
Please pass a recall law – and then recall Mittens right away!
MITT MUST GO!!!
— Daniel Hill (@danhill2011) February 1, 2020
Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah said critics ought to respect Romney even in disagreement.
Mitt Romney is a good friend and an excellent Senator. We have disagreed about a lot in this trial. But he has my respect for the thoughtfulness, integrity, and guts he has shown throughout this process. Utah and the Senate are lucky to have him.
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) January 31, 2020
Romney has said he believed more testimony was necessary, particularly from former national security advisor John Bolton.
Media accounts have said a new book from Bolton will allege that Trump linked military aid for Ukraine with that country investigating Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden for Biden’s role in Ukraine in 2016. Trump has insisted there was no connection.
“John Bolton has a relevant testimony to provide,” Romney said, according to the Desert News.
“I know there are some who feel if we open the door, we’d have tons of witnesses and court battles,” Romney said, according to The New York Times.
“I think of this as an inflection point, politically in our country,” Romney said. “It’s a constitutional issue. I feel a sense of deep responsibility to abide by the Constitution, to determine — absent the pulls from the right and the pulls from the left — what is the right thing to do?”
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