Updated Feb 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Republicans and Democrats react to Mitt Romney voting to convict Trump

Romney and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) at Trump's State of the Union address on Feb. 4. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

After Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) voted to convict President Trump for abuse of power in the impeachment trial Wednesday, Republicans doubled down to rebuke the senator while Democrats rushed to his defense.

What he's saying: "I am aware that there are people in my party and in my state who will strenuously disapprove of my decision, and in some quarters, I will be vehemently denounced," Romney said on the Senate floor Wednesday. "I am sure to hear abuse from the President and his supporters."

  • Romney was already shunned from the CPAC 2020 conference for voting in favor of bringing additional evidence and witness testimony to Trump's impeachment trial.
What Republicans are saying:
  • President Trump tweeted early Thursday, "Had failed presidential candidate @MittRomney devoted the same energy and anger to defeating a faltering Barack Obama as he sanctimoniously does to me, he could have won the election. Read the Transcripts!"
  • Earlier Wednesday, the president tweeted a video that falsely accused Romney of being a "Democrat secret asset" who aimed to "infiltrate Trump's administration as Secretary of State." (Trump first tweeted the video in October.)
  • GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel — Romney's niece — said Wednesday, "This is not the first time I have disagreed with Mitt, and I imagine it will not be the last. The bottom line is President Trump did nothing wrong, and the Republican Party is more united than ever behind him,"
  • Donald Trump Jr. tweeted Wednesday, "Mitt Romney is forever bitter that he will never be POTUS. He was too weak to beat the Democrats then so he’s joining them now. He’s now officially a member of the resistance & should be expelled from the @GOP."
  • "The Utah Republican Party is pleased to see President Trump completely acquitted by the United States Senate. We appreciate the service rendered to our state by Utah’s two senators. As a party, we strongly disagree with the vote cast today by Senator Romney."
  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) tweeted Wednesday, "The Republican party is unified and President Trump will be acquitted. Mitt's flat wrong on this, and he doesn’t represent the views of any Republican in Congress."
  • White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Wednesday, "The Senate voted to reject the baseless articles of impeachment, and only the President’s political opponents — all Democrats, and one failed Republican presidential candidate — voted for the manufactured impeachment articles."
  • Former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake tweeted, "I have long admired Mitt Romney, but never more than today. What an honorable man."
What Democrats are saying:
  • Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said it was "stirring" to hear Romney's words on the Senate floor and praised his courage to "speak truth to power" in an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Wednesday.
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) retweeted MSNBC's Chris Hayes comment: "Romney will become the first US Senator in American history to vote to remove a president of his own party."
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tweeted Wednesday "Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one's oath of office that I can imagine." I agree, @MittRomney. Voting to convict this president is an act of patriotism. Thank you for yours."
  • Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) tweeted Wednesday"I sat silently across the chamber, listening to my friend give one of the most important speeches I have ever had the good fortune to hear in person. At a time when many wonder what honor is left in public life, there stands Mitt Romney."
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) tweeted Wednesday, "Thank you @MittRomney for rising to this moment, for choosing to vote your conscience, and for doing what you know in your heart to be right."
  • 2020 candidate Andrew Yang said at a CNN town hall Wednesday, "I just want to congratulate Sen. Mitt Romney for voting his conscience and character."

Go deeper: Mitt Romney says he will vote to convict Trump in impeachment trial

Editor's note: This article has been updated with Trump's comments.

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CPAC chair says he would fear for Romney's "physical safety" if he attended

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Matt Schlapp, chair of the Conservative Political Action Conference, said in an interview with Full Court Press Sunday that he would be afraid for Sen. Mitt Romney's (R-Utah) safety if the former presidential candidate attended the yearly conservative conference.

Driving the news: Romney has faced substantial blowback from Trump loyalists in the Republican Party over his vote last week to convict the president in his impeachment trial. Schlapp had already announced on Twitter that Romney was "formally NOT invited" to CPAC after his vote to call new impeachment witnesses.

Trump takes aim at Pelosi and Romney during National Prayer Breakfast

Trump at the National Prayer Breakfast. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump used his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday to take a swipe at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) over their roles in his impeachment.

"I don't like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong. Nor do I like people who say 'I pray for you' when they know that that's not so. So many people have been hurt and we can't let that go on."
Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Klobuchar praises Romney while pointing to Buttigieg's inexperience

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Sen. Amy Klobuchar went after Mayor Pete Buttigieg, one the top contenders at the Iowa caucuses, during Friday's Democratic debate when he tried to criticize the other candidates for having Washington establishment experience.

What Klobuchar is saying: Klobuchar focused on the difficult choices Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Doug Jones (D-Al.) made during President Trump's impeachment proceedings. She closed by saying "I think having some experience is a good thing."