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Calls exploded either to expel Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) from the Republican Party or recall him from the Senate immediately after he sided with the Democrats during the Senate’s vote to acquit President Donald Trump on Wednesday afternoon.
The calls to remove Romney from the GOP were led by Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, who tweeted: “Mitt Romney is forever bitter that he will never be POTUS. He was too weak to beat the Democrats then so he’s joining them now. He’s now officially a member of the resistance & should be expelled from the @GOP.”
Former White House adviser Andrew Surabian added: “#ExpelMitt”
— Andrew Surabian (@Surabees) February 5, 2020
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) wrote on Twitter: “Mitt Romney absolutely despises that Donald Trump was elected POTUS & he was not. The sore loser mentality launched this sham impeachment & corruptly rigged & jammed it through the House. It looks like Schiff recruited himself a sore loser buddy on the GOP side to play along.”
Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who is Romney’s niece, slammed her uncle on Twitter, writing: “This is not the first time I have disagreed with Mitt, and I imagine it will not be the last. The bottom line is President Trump did nothing wrong, and the Republican Party is more united than ever behind him. I, along with the @GOP, stand with President Trump.”
Calls also grew to recall Romney from the Senate, which could potentially happen after a Utah lawmaker filed a motion last week that would allow people in Utah to recall U.S. Senators.
“The lawmaker, Rep. Tim Quinn, R-Heber City, told the Deseret News in an interview Wednesday shortly after the bill was made public that it’s not meant to target any specific sitting Utah senator — but it comes amid heightened national attention on Sen. Mitt Romney, who has been among the few Republican senators publicly critical of President Donald Trump,” Deseret News reported. “It would require signatures equal to 25% of the number of active voters in the state on Jan. 1 immediately following the last regular general election. If that threshold is met, the lieutenant governor would place the recall question on the ballot of the next election that occurs at least 90 days after the question is certified.”
The Desert News reported on Wednesday afternoon that support for the bill exploded immediately following Romney’s defection from the party on the impeachment vote.
“Rep. Tim Quinn, R-Heber City, said Wednesday he received more than 100 phone calls and 250 emails in just over an hour that were ‘100% positive to the bill,’” Desert News reported. “Though Quinn said the proposal was in the works before impeachment and is not about Romney, he picked up a half dozen House co-sponsors after Romney announced on the U.S. Senate floor that he would vote to find Trump guilty of abuse of power.”
“Regardless of how you feel about the bill, regardless about how you feel about either one of our senators, I recognize this is a tough bill to be asked to vote on,” Quinn said.
Romney said in response to the bill, “I don’t know what might happen in the Utah Legislature. I will accept whatever consequence is sent my way and recognize that is part of the job. People don’t expect me to be a shrinking violet.”
Calls to recall Romney also picked up significant traction on social media:
Time to recall Mittens. #recallromney
— Ned Ryun (@nedryun) February 5, 2020
— Matt Batzel (@MattBatzel) February 5, 2020
It’s time for a RECALL VOTE in Utah!!
Senator Mitt Romney is putting his own personal problems ahead of this country.
The founders would be disgusted with his decision!!
— Nick Adams (@NickAdamsinUSA) February 5, 2020