More than two thousand Utah Republicans booed Senator Mitt Romney as he arrived to speak at a convention in his home state on Saturday.
The vocal backlash came after Romney narrowly avoided censure by the Utah GOP over his votes during the two impeachment trials of President Donald Trump.
‘Aren’t you embarrassed?’ said Romney in response to the catcalling as he walked onto 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,’ he said.
Shouts of ‘traitor’ or ‘communist’ could be heard from the crowd.
Sen. Mitt Romney was booed as he addressed the Utah GOP convention on Saturday
Senator Mitt Romney addresses the Utah Republican Party 2021 Organizing Convention on Saturday in West Valley City, Utah
‘You can boo all you like,’ Romney continued. ‘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.
‘So yeah, I understand that I have a few folks that don’t like me terribly much and I’m sorry about that. But I express my mind as I believe is right and I follow my conscience as I believe is right,’ Romney added.
Romney managed to elicit a few cheers when he asked the crowd if they were fans of Biden.
More than two thousand Utah Republicans booed Senator Mitt Romney as he arrived to speak at a convention in his home state on Saturday
The 2,000-strong crowd jeered after Romney, a frequent critic of former President Trump suggested that he wasn’t a fan of Trump’s ‘character issues’
‘So, what do you think about President Biden’s first 100 days?’ Romney asked.
The motion for Romney to be censured narrowly failed, 798 to 711, in a vote by delegates to the state GOP convention.
At one stage, the Chairman of the Utah GOP, Derek Brown, interrupted Romney’s speech to tell the rowdy crowd to simmer down.
Despite the negativity, Romney ended his speech on a positive note.
‘We need to come together in strength and unity,’ he said.
Senator Mitt Romney walks off the stage after addressing the Utah Republican Party 2021 Organizing Convention on Saturday
Davis County delegate Don Guymon, who authored the censure resolution, said Romney’s votes to remove Trump from office ‘hurt the Constitution and hurt the party.’
‘This was a process driven by Democrats who hated Trump,’ Guymon said. ‘Romney’s vote in the first impeachment emboldened Democrats who continued to harass Trump.’
The proposal, among several platform changes debated Saturday, also sought to praise the other members of Utah’s congressional delegation for their support of the former president.
President-elect Donald Trump and Mitt Romney were pictured in an awkward dinner date at Jean Georges restaurant in New York City in November 2016
The pair were also pictured weeks after Trump won the election in 2016 where the two discussed the possibility of a cabinet position for Romney
Others warned supporting the censure risked defining the party around Trump instead of the conservative principles most delegates treasure.
‘If the point of all this is to let Mitt Romney know we’re displeased with him, trust me, he knows,’ said Salt Lake County delegate Emily de Azavedo Brown. ‘Let´s not turn this into a Trump or no Trump thing. Are we a party of principle or a party of a person?’
Romney was one of seven GOP senators who voted to convict Trump for inciting the deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
The Senate ultimately voted 57-43 to acquit the former president, failing to meet the 67-vote threshold to convict.
Romney is not facing re-election in 2022.
In 2012, Donald Trump held a news conference where he endorsed Romney for president. In the end, Barack Obama secured a second term in office