He leaked his vote to a reporter who had mocked him in 2012. He pre-taped an interview in advance. Then he took to the well of the Senate. He misted up. Bit his lip a bit. Talked about being a man of God. At one point, “The Last Honest Man in Washington” went silent as he appeared to fight back tears. And then he lowered the boom on his nemesis, President Trump.
Mitt Romney’s star turn as Bill Clinton redux was almost as believable as Bill’s promises to Hillary that he’d never do it again.
Romney hates Trump. He hates that Trump pulled the rope-a-dope on him about possibly being secretary of State. He thinks Trump is a cad, “phony,” “fraud,” and low-life.
Mitt Romney Adviser Worked With Hunter Biden On Board Of Corrupt Ukrainian Energy Company https://t.co/MJod1W7eM0
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) February 5, 2020
Romney thought the Burisma connection wasn’t worth bringing up by the president in his call with the Ukraine president. And so:
So I reached a conclusion, which is not at all what I would hoped to have reached. But I don’t see how in good conscience I can reach a conclusion and not be true to what my heart and mind tells me is true.
And let me tell you, I’d love to stand with the team. But if you stand with the team in contravention of your conscience and the duty you’ve made before God, I would have to endure the censure of my own conscience, as well as the disdain of history.
Romney’s a smart guy. But as constitutional law professor and radio-talk host Hugh Hewitt put it, Romney didn’t have his facts straight:
I greatly admire @MittRomney and disagree with his decision on Article I and agree with his decision on Article II. I think he’s wrong on the law and the facts but he is a man of great integrity and voted his conscience regardless of his relationship with @POTUS.
— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) February 5, 2020
Mitt Romney’s niece, who happens to be the Republican National Committee sided with Trump over Uncle Mitt:
Even his family thinks he’s a disgrace. #ExpelMitt
RNC chairwoman splits with uncle Mitt Romney: GOP stands 'with President Trump' https://t.co/PP6DnEDttg
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) February 5, 2020
Actor Terence Williams is in her camp:
MITT ROMNEY IS A JEALOUS LOSER
Senator Snake aka Senator Romney is voting to convict President Trump
Romney is jealous because he will never become President like
Sick of Mitt & glad Trump is the President & not him
— Terrence K. Williams (@w_terrence) February 5, 2020
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was not surprised by Romney’s votes:
Just remember Mitt Romney 1994: “Look, I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I’m not trying to return to Reagan-Bush." Nothing surprising in today’s announcement. If someone won’t defend President Reagan they probably won’t defend President Trump.
— newtgingrich (@newtgingrich) February 5, 2020
Radio host and constitutional attorney Mark Levin mocked Romney for getting Trump attorney Alan Dershowitz’s arguments wrong:
Reading is fundamental, but not for Mitthttps://t.co/u8tdzNVWJv
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) February 5, 2020
Trump Rapid Response sent out a zinger:
Mitt Romney is bitter.
Bitter he didn't win in 2012.
Bitter @realDonaldTrump didn't pick him to be Sec of State.
Bitter President Trump is more popular than he is in Utah.
And Mitt's announcement was ALL ABOUT HIM.
Romney did a pretaped sitdown interview with Chris Wallace.
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) February 5, 2020
But look who supported Romney’s decision. The prosecutor:
Having proven Trump guilty, I asked if there was just one Republican Senator who would say “enough”
Who would stand up against this dangerously immoral president
Who would display moral courage
Who would do impartial justice as their oath required and convict
And there is. https://t.co/xNHi2CP6oF
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) February 5, 2020
And former Senator Jeff Flake, who was persuaded by Democrats to stall the Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings because of outrageously wild tales about red cups and quaaludes, thought Romney’s speech convicting Trump was just great.
I have long admired Mitt Romney, but never more than today. What an honorable man. https://t.co/58oKqXNg81
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) February 5, 2020
Former National Review writer and attorney David French, who is an ardent never-Trumper, swooned:
God bless Mitt Romney.
— David French (@DavidAFrench) February 5, 2020
Noted Leftist George Takei, of “Star Trek” fame, who didn’t vote for Romney in 2012, honored him for his “integrity”:
This took immense courage. Thank you for your integrity, Senator. https://t.co/NUu0eXGObr
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) February 5, 2020
Famously leftist New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said that Mitt Romney had made his “honor roll”:
There have been a few conservatives — people with whom I have huge policy disagreements — who have showed admirable courage and integrity these past 3 years. Bill Kristol was the most surprising example until now; but Mitt Romney has joined the honor roll.
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) February 5, 2020
Mitch McConnell, the majority leader in the Senate, got the last word:
Moments like this are what the Senate was made for. The Framers knew the country would need a firewall to keep partisan flames from scorching our Republic.
So they created the Senate. Today, we will fulfill this founding purpose.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) February 5, 2020
Thank God it’s over … for now.