Failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney is grabbing headlines for his tense exchange with Republican Rep. George Santos at Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, telling the embattled lawmaker that he should be “embarrassed” and that he didn’t belong in Congress.
Now a U.S. Senator, the former governor of ultra-liberal Massachusetts has gained belated respect from a media that previously despised him for his vendetta against former President Donald J. Trump whom he twice sided with Democrats to convict in the two impeachment trials, and earned more raves for his tussle with Santos who is fighting for his political life amidst raging scandal.
In a viral video of the confrontation between the two that went down shortly before Biden’s gaslighting extravaganza, Romney had terse words for the New York congressman whose twisting of the truth during his campaign and his ethical lapses could result in his ouster from Congress.
“You don’t belong here,” Romney seemed to say in the encounter which conveniently took place right in front of CSPAN cameras. “You ought to be embarrassed,” he appeared to add during the brief verbal scuffle.
(Video: The Daily Mail)
The senator from Utah also appeared to call his fellow Republican an “a—” as he turned away, with Santos appearing to fire back that “You’re a bigger one,” according to Fox News.
Romney later confirmed to reporters that he did indeed tell Santos that he didn’t belong there, giving the press his take on the viral encounter.
“I didn’t expect that he’d be standing there trying to shake hands with every senator and the president of the United States. Given the fact that he’s under an ethics investigation, he should be sitting in the back row and staying quiet instead of parading in front of the president and people coming into the room,” Romney said.
“Look, look, look he says you know, that he embellished his record,” added Romney. “Look, embellishing is you saying you got an A when you got an A-. Lying is saying you graduated from college you didn’t even attend. And he shouldn’t be in Congress and they’re going to go through the process and hopefully get him out, and — but he shouldn’t be there and, if he had any shame at all, he wouldn’t be there.”
Pressed on why he “went out of his way” to initiate the confrontation, Romney said “He was standing right there in the aisle, shaking hands with everybody,” adding that he didn’t hear any response from Santos.
“Hey @MittRomney just a reminder that you will NEVER be PRESIDENT!” Santos said afterward in a dig at Romney, rubbing salt into the wounds of his 2012 loss to Barack Obama.
Hey @MittRomney just a reminder that you will NEVER be PRESIDENT! https://t.co/ANxiQPxAua
— George Santos (@Santos4Congress) February 8, 2023
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy seemed to confirm that the controversial New York congressman, dubbed the “Long Island liar” by some, was facing a probe by the House Ethics Committee when taking questions from the press on the protests from constituents in Santos’ district.
(Video: The Daily Mail)
“Ethics is moving through, and if Ethics finds something, we’ll take action,” McCarthy said. “Right now, we’re not allowing him to be on committees from the standpoint of the questions that have arisen.”
The Speaker later clarified that he didn’t mean to confirm an official investigation but that Santos was being subjected to ethics complaints.
Despite the ongoing controversy, protests, and demands for his resignation, Santos has given no indication that he plans to relinquish the House seat that he won in November’s midterm elections.
“You’re saying that the freedom of speech of my constituents is a distraction to my work?” Santos said in response to being asked by CNN about the calls for his resignation. “Do you think people are a distraction to the work I’m doing here?”
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