Sen. Mitt Romney didn’t quite get a friendly welcome from his fellow Utah Republicans on Saturday. Audience members at the state’s GOP convention loudly booed and jeered Romney when he took the stage. Shouts of “traitor” and “communist” could be heard in the audience as delegates tried to shout him down so loudly that it often became difficult for the former presidential candidate to speak. According to video of the event, the crowd started booing as soon as Romney took the stage and only got louder as he tried to speak and they made their feelings clear about the senator who voted to convict former President Donald Trump in his two impeachment trials.
As the crowd booed, Romney did not shy away from mentioning the former president. “I’m a man who says what he means, and you know I was not a fan of our last president’s character issues,” Romney said as the crowd continued jeering. “Aren’t you embarrassed?” an evidently frustrated Romney asked the crowd as the shouting continued. The crowd only settled after Utah GOP chair Derek Brown got on the microphone and asked delegates to “show respect” for Romney. The senator insisted the boos rolled right off him. “Oh yeah, you can boo all you like, but I’ve been a Republican all my life,” Romney said. “My dad was a governor of Michigan, my dad worked for Republican candidates that he believed in. I worked for Republicans across the country and if you don’t recall, I was the Republican nominee for President in 2012.”
Despite all the booing, a resolution to censure Romney for his two votes to convict Trump failed. But it was close. The vote on the resolution that said Romney “consistently publicly criticized President Trump” and that his “comments not only hurt President Trump’s reelection but hurt other Republicans on the ballot” ultimately failed 798-711. Don Guymon, a party delegate from Davis County who submitted the censure resolution, said that the close vote reflects how there has been a “turn of the tide” against Romney.