By Jon Dougherty
(TNS) For a Republican senator, Mitt Romney of Utah is doing a very good impression of a Democrat, and conservatives are signaling they are tiring of his Jeff Flake impression.
The #NeverTrumper alienated himself from conservatives even further on Friday when he cast his lot with Democrats and voted for witnesses to appear at President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
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The vote was too much for one of the country’s premier right-leaning organizations, the Conservative Political Action Committee, or CPAC.
According to the Washington Times:
The Conservative Political Action Committee formally disinvited the Utah Republican from its high-profile conference next month, after he voted in favor of new witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial.
“BREAKING: The ‘extreme conservative’ and Junior Senator from the great state of Utah, @SenatorRomney is formally NOT invited to #CPAC2020,” tweeted Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union.
Mr. Romney has attended CPAC in the past. In 2012, as he successfully campaigned for the GOP presidential nomination, he used the word “conservative” 25 times in his 26-minute speech at the conference.
The only other Republican to vote for new witnesses in the impeachment trial was Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the senior senator from Utah, former Tea Party favorite Mike Lee, stuck up for Romney.
“Mitt Romney is a good friend and an excellent Senator,” Lee tweeted. “We have disagreed about a lot in this trial. But he has my respect for the thoughtfulness, integrity, and guts he has shown throughout this process. Utah and the Senate are lucky to have him.”
Apparently, that is not an opinion shared by all Utah conservatives.
As Red State reports, following Romney’s vote a grassroots effort to recall him was launched:
As expected and telegraphed by his previous mewling and morally preening series of statements this week, Utah’s Senator Mitt Romney (along with Susan Collins) voted for (new) witnesses. “New” is in parens because Romney, like many RINOs, insists on allowing Democrats to set the terms of the debate. It’s not “allow witnesses.” It’s “allow new witnesses that the Democrats failed to properly request and subpoena according to the proper procedure.” It’s “allow new witnesses that President Trump’s defense team has not had the opportunity to depose.” You know — kinda like they do before trials actually start?
It appears that some Utahns (yep, that’s the word for Utah residents) are pretty miffed at Willard and his squishy performance since President Trump helped him get elected as the Junior Senator from that fair state.
Although Utah has no legal process for recalling their U.S. Senators, that doesn’t appear to deter some residents who don’t wish to wait until 2024 to express umbrage at Romney’s lily-livered conduct. They’ve established a petition on Care2 Petitions. Here is their concluding statement for why they took that step.
It’s not clear that the petition drive will succeed, but what is clear is that conservative Trump supporters are fed up with the RINO wing of the party and are letting them know in every way possible.
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As for Romney, if he’s trying to set himself up for a third run at the GOP nomination and the White House in 2024, running as the ‘anti-Trump’ doesn’t seem like a great strategy if he’s going to try to win over conservatives who are imminently pleased with seeing policies they have long supported being enacted by this president.
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