A controversial senator who criticizes the previous president received a hostile reception at a Republican event in his home state of Utah.
Mitt Romney appeared to attract more boos than cheers from people attending the 2021 Utah Republican Convention at the Maverik Center, about 8 miles southwest of downtown Salt Lake City.
“Mitt Romney just appeared on an introductory video and the crowd at the Utah GOP Convention booed loudly,” FOX 13 reporter Ben Winslow said on Twitter.
A YouTube video that went viral on social media shows Romney quickly drew strong disapproval from the audience.
“You know me as a person who says what he thinks, and I do not hide the fact that I was not a fan of our last president’s character issues,” Romney can be heard saying.
The senator struggled to continue his speech and had to pause for several seconds after many people in the audience booed and shouted critical remarks in his direction.
“Aren’t you embarrassed?” he fired back. “I understand there are folks who do not like me terribly much and I am sorry about that.”
Since Romney continued to speak over and even agitated the audience, Utah GOP Chairman Derek Brown finally settled everyone down.
“My friends, this is the moment I was talking about,” Brown can be heard saying. “Please, thank you, show respect.”
However, the senator insisted on stirring up the audience again with his heated remarks.
“You can boo all you like but I have been a Republican all my life,” he said according to Fox News. “My dad was the governor of Michigan and I was the Republican nominee for president in 2012.”
The Republican severely damaged his political career when he openly admitted he voted to impeach former President Donald Trump twice. Romney also did not win many GOP friends by calling his then-party president a national disgrace.
“It is really sad in a lot of respects and embarrassing,” he said in an earlier video shared on YouTube.
Romney, who lost the 2012 presidential election to Barack Obama, believes President Trump should have just followed his example and given up on winning another four years in the Oval Office.
He is also upset about more GOP candidates for the 2024 presidential race adopting a similar leadership style to President Trump.
“As I look at the 2024 contenders, many of them are trying to become as much like Donald Trump as they can be,” he said. “Although I must admit his [the president’s] style and shtick is extremely difficult to duplicate. He is [an] extremely talented person from that standpoint.”
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) still supports Romney and suggests she was also “appalled” by the high number of Republicans who still support President Trump.
“We are not a party that is led by just one person,” she said in a video shared on Twitter. “There are many prominent, upcoming younger men and women in our party who hold great promise for leading us.”
Collins similarly defended anti-Trump Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as a “woman of strength and conscience.”
“She did what she felt was right and I salute her for that,” she said. “We need to be accepting of differences in our party … [and] we need to have room for a variety of views.”