Republican Sen. Mitt Romney’s decision to side with Democrats and vote for witnesses in the impeachment trial earned him much criticism and now a dis-invitation.
The Utah lawmaker was “formally not invited” to attend this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, referred to as CPAC, after his stunt in a Senate vote Friday when he voted in favor of hearing from witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial.
“The ‘extreme conservative’ and Junior Senator from the great state of Utah, @SenatorRomney is formally NOT invited to #CPAC2020,” American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp said in a mocking tweet on Friday.
The conservative conference scheduled for the end of the month will feature Trump as the keynote speaker.
BREAKING: The “extreme conservative” and Junior Senator from the great state of Utah, @SenatorRomney is formally NOT invited to #CPAC2020. pic.twitter.com/f35tYy73V1
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) January 31, 2020
Romney and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine were the only Republicans who voted with Democrats on Friday in the failed attempt to allow additional witnesses to be heard in the trial. The final vote of 51-49 shot down a weeks-long Democratic effort to hear witnesses, such as former national security adviser John Bolton and others, and set the stage for a final vote to acquit the president next week.
Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska were ultimately the swing GOP votes, sticking with the party and voting against the effort while Democrats began to discredit the process as a “sham.” Romney, who is not up for reelection until 2024, was roundly condemned for bucking the party though some, like Utah’s Republican senior Senator Mike Lee did come to his defense.
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
Lee is a frequent CPAC attendee as is Romney who has spoken at the annual conservative gathering in the past, including in 2013, following his 2012 failed presidential bid. It was not clear if the former Massachusetts governor was even planning to attend this year’s event which will include Diamond and Silk, Candace Owens and California Rep. Devin Nunes as speakers as well as conservative commentator Mark Levin, and Brexit leader Nigel Farage.
CPAC and Schlapp were slammed by some Twitter users for the rebuke of Romney and display of “cancel culture” politics.
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) January 31, 2020
oh what a calamity how will Mitt ever be able to carry on https://t.co/7vsYOPzEuh
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) January 31, 2020
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) January 31, 2020
CPAC has turned into an alt right clown show. I’m sure Mitt could care less.
— Marylou Culkar (@MarylouCulkar6) February 1, 2020
But many others on Twitter were happy to see the Utah senator get called out.
I am so disappointed in Romney. What a traitor and I don’t use that loosely. Trump supported him completely in his bid for the senate. Romney has done everything to betray Trump. I never would have believed it but there it is.
— Chuck Woolery (@chuckwoolery) January 26, 2020
— Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) February 1, 2020
Epic Burn. 🔥🤣
I am going to CPAC because my dreams became memes.
And I didn’t betray the president 40 times.
— Carpe Donktum🔹 (@CarpeDonktum) January 31, 2020
Good riddance… It’s about time Mitt Romney be held accountable for his actions.
Not sure why he’d want to be at #CPAC anyway, he’s no longer a conservative. https://t.co/KtXVM1tWZY
— Jason Lewis (@LewisForMN) February 1, 2020
Good! He’s NOT a Republican!
Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.