The vote failed 711-798, based on Utah Republican Get together spokeswoman Lynda Cox.
The decision to censure Romney, which was submitted by Don Guymon, a celebration delegate from Davis County, was rife with unproven conspiracy theories, together with about President Joe Biden and his household. The language of the decision additionally alleged that Romney “constantly publicly criticized President Trump” and that his “feedback not solely harm President Trump’s reelection however harm different Republicans on the poll.”
“Now you understand me as an individual who says what he thinks, and I do not disguise the truth that I wasn’t a fan of our final President’s character points,” Romney informed the group. In response, members of the viewers booed loudly sufficient to power Romney to cease his speech and watch for them to cool down.
Later in his remarks, Romney referred to himself as “an quaint Republican,” which drew extra boos from members of the group. The 2012 GOP presidential nominee defended himself from the jeers by itemizing his conservative credentials.
“Oh yeah, you’ll be able to boo all you want, however I have been a Republican all my life. My dad was a governor of Michigan, my dad labored for Republican candidates that he believed in. I labored for Republicans throughout the nation and in the event you do not recall, I used to be the Republican nominee for President in 2012,” Romney mentioned, which was met by applause from members of the viewers.
“Yeah, I perceive I’ve a number of people who do not like me terribly a lot and I — I am sorry about that. However I specific my thoughts as I consider is correct and I observe my acutely aware as I consider is correct,” Romney mentioned at one level, to which the group responded with each boos and cheers.
Guymon’s censure decision, which had eight co-sponsors, focused Romney for each of his conviction votes in 2020 and 2021 and rejected the notion that Trump incited an rebel on the US Capitol. The decision additionally claimed that “Home impeachment managers doctored proof” and “denied due course of,” faulting Romney for voting to “proceed with the unconstitutional impeachment and convict President Trump regardless of the dearth of proof and due course of.”
Guymon informed CNN after the vote that he believes the closeness of the outcome displays that there was a “flip of the tide” in opposition to the Utah senator following his votes to convict Trump in his two impeachment trials. Guymon added that quite a lot of delegates informed him that that they had determined to not vote for the censure decision as a result of they felt that Romney had “obtained the message” when he was booed earlier within the day when he got here on stage to make remarks on the organizing conference.
There are about 4,000 GOP state delegates, however solely about half of these delegates attended the organizing conference this yr as a result of it was primarily get together enterprise and never any main nominations, so some individuals opted to remain dwelling. Attendance was additionally decrease due to the pandemic. By the point the censure decision in opposition to Romney got here up, lots of the delegates had already left the venue.
CNN has reached out to Romney’s workplace for remark.
Romney has lengthy had a fraught relationship with the hardcore activists throughout the Utah Republican Get together, whose delegates are usually extra conservative than GOP voters statewide. Even earlier than the impeachment votes, many activists resented Romney’s determination to run for the seat of retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch in 2018, as a result of Romney had simply moved again to Utah after residing for a few years in Massachusetts and serving as governor there.
Trump slammed those that voted for his impeachment or conviction as “grandstanders” and “Republicans in title solely” on the Conservative Political Motion Convention earlier this yr. And the previous President has pledged to marketing campaign in opposition to Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the one Senate Republican who voted to convict him who’s up for reelection subsequent yr.
Daniella Diaz contributed to this story.