Not surprisingly, Senator Mitt Romney was continuously booed by Republican delegates at the Utah state convention for his vote to impeach Donald Trump and his constant and pointed criticism of the former president while he was in office.
It got pretty rough for Romney. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Romney had little to say in response.
“Aren’t you embarrassed?” said Romney, trying to deflect the chorus of catcalls that greeted him as he took 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,” said Romney, as delegates attempted to shout him down. Accusations that Romney was a “traitor” or “communist” flew from the crowd like so many poison darts.
Romney tried to remind the crowd that he’s been a lifelong Republican.
“You can boo all you like,” said Romney. “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.”
— Bryan Schott (@SchottHappens) May 1, 2021
Republican Gov. Spencer Cox was also booed, but for his pandemic restrictions, which many in Utah thought went on too long and went too far.
“I know some of you hate me for some of the decisions I had to make,” said Cox as he took the stage to a smattering of boos from delegates upset with COVID-19 restrictions. “But I want to point out that some of you haven’t been paying attention.”
Cox touted the state’s rapidly improving economy following the COVID-related downturn, noting Utah was one of two states to see net job growth during the pandemic. He also said the state did not go as far as some other states with virus-related restrictions.
“We banned government vaccine passports,” said Cox to cheers, referencing a bill passed during the 2021 Utah Legislature. But that bill only blocked the state government from requiring vaccines. Private businesses can still require vaccinations for customers.
Utah’s other senator, Mike Lee, got the opposite response. He really gave it to the crowd — with red, white, and blue, star-spangled, patriotic fire.
Sen. Mike Lee drew a standing ovation as he took the podium and, hand on his heart, he cheered delegates in attendance “for taking action! Thank you!,” he said, calling their presence “an act of faith in the future.”
In a hardline speech, he blasted Democrats and invoked the U.S. Constitution and Founding Fathers, whom he praised for constraining government power on behalf of the people. He underscored their guarantees of unfettered gun ownership and limited intrusion in the lives of private citizens.
Quoting George Washington, Lee said U.S. exceptionalism rested on faith in its citizenry, not the government. “It means freedom,” he said.
Those ideas will surely be tested over the next four years as Joe Biden and the radical Democrats who now control him look to remake America in their own image.
Mitt Romney is a good man, a decent man. His decisions with regard to Trump are not based on political realities but on his personal sense of morality. Beware, moralistic politicians, if you completely abandon your constituents in favor of some personal vision of what’s right.