News & Politics

Trump Slams Romney, Cheers for Jeff Van Drew at CPAC

President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2020, at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md., Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD — President Donald Trump addressed impeachment early in his remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). He slammed Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) over his historic vote to remove Trump from office and he praised Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.), who opposed impeachment and actually left the Democratic Party over it.

“You know the Republicans stuck together, except Romney, of course,” the president said, as the audience jeered. “Low-life. Low-life! Except Romney, they stuck together — and even him I got half a vote, so you know.” Even Romney, the only Senate Republican to vote for the conviction and removal of the president, refused to support the second article of impeachment, “Obstruction of Congress.”

“He wanted to get some nice free publicity for himself,” Trump added.

Even so, Trump said he got “52 and a half out of 53 votes” when it came to Republicans in the Senate.

Meanwhile, “in the House, we had 107 to nothing with the Republicans,” the president added. “And we got three Democrats and one came over and left the Democrat party, Jeff Van Drew!”

The crowd went wild for Van Drew, cheering and applauding loudly.

Trump was not the first to bring up Romney’s historic defection at CPAC. Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk condemned the Utah senator, saying Romney “lied to every single person in this room.” In the CPAC straw poll, 78 percent of attendees said Romney was a “political opportunist” in his impeachment vote while only 16 percent said he was a man of principle.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.