Susan Collins called out on Sunday a group of Republicans in Utah for booing fellow centrist Senator Mitt Romney during a GOP convention in his home state Saturday.
‘I was appalled,’ Collins said during an interview with CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ when recalling video of the event.
‘Mitt Romney is an outstanding senator who serves his state and our country well,’ she told host Jake Tapper. ‘We Republicans need to remember that we are united by fundamental principles, such as a belief in personal responsibility, individual freedom, opportunity, free markets, a strong national defense.’
‘We are not a party that is led by just one person,’ Collins insisted, adding the GOP ‘remember Ronald Reagan’s admonition to Republicans that the person who agrees with you 70 or 80 per cent of the time is your friend, not your enemy.’
Senator Susan Collins said she was ‘appalled’ when she saw video of fellow centrist Republican Mitt Romney being booed and heckled at a GOP conference in his home state of Utah
Romney was booed as he addressed the Utah Republican Party 2021 Organizing Convention on Saturday in West Valley City, Utah
Collins and Romney were two of the seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial earlier this year for inciting the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.
In her CNN interview, Collins also defended Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who, as Republican Conference chairwoman, is the No. 3 Republican in the House.
“Liz Cheney is a woman of strength and conscience,” the Maine senator said. “And she did what she felt was right. And I salute her for that.”
“We need to be accepting of differences in our party,” Collins drove home. “We don’t want to become like too much of the Democratic Party, which has been taken over by the progressive left. We need to have room for a variety of views.”
Cheney was the highest-ranking Republican in the House to vote in favor of impeaching Trump for the second time.
Trump has called for the Republican Party to oust both Romney and Cheney.
During a speech at a GOP convention in Utah on Saturday, more than two thousand attendees booed Romney.
The vocal backlash came after Romney, who represents Utah in the U.S. Senate, narrowly avoided censure by the state’s GOP over his votes during the both impeachment trials of Trump.
‘Aren’t you embarrassed?’ said Romney in response to the catcalling as he walked onto the stage.
‘I’m a man who says what he means, and you know I was not a fan of our last president’s character issues,’ he said.
Shouts of ‘traitor’ and ‘communist’ could be heard from the crowd.
‘You can boo all you like,’ Romney continued. ‘I’ve been a Republican all of my life. My dad was the governor of Michigan and I was the Republican nominee for president in 2012.
‘So yeah, I understand that I have a few folks that don’t like me terribly much and I’m sorry about that. But I express my mind as I believe is right and I follow my conscience as I believe is right,’ Romney added.
Romney managed to elicit a few cheers when he asked the crowd if they were fans of Biden.
More than two thousand Utah Republicans booed Romney as he arrived to speak at a convention in Utah
‘So, what do you think about President Biden’s first 100 days?’ Romney asked.
The motion for Romney to be censured narrowly failed, 798 to 711, in a vote by delegates to the state GOP convention.
At one stage, the Chairman of the Utah GOP, Derek Brown, interrupted Romney’s speech to tell the rowdy crowd to simmer down.
Despite the negativity, Romney ended his speech on a positive note.
‘We need to come together in strength and unity,’ he said.
Davis County delegate Don Guymon, who authored the censure resolution, said Romney’s votes to remove Trump from office ‘hurt the Constitution and hurt the party.’
‘This was a process driven by Democrats who hated Trump,’ Guymon said. ‘Romney’s vote in the first impeachment emboldened Democrats who continued to harass Trump.’
The proposal, among several platform changes debated Saturday, also sought to praise the other members of Utah’s congressional delegation for their support of the former president.
President-elect Donald Trump and Mitt Romney were pictured in an awkward dinner date at Jean Georges restaurant in New York City in November 2016
Trump and Romney were also pictured weeks after Trump won the election in 2016 where the two discussed the possibility of a cabinet position for Romney
Others warned supporting the censure risked defining the party around Trump instead of the conservative principles most delegates treasure.
‘If the point of all this is to let Mitt Romney know we’re displeased with him, trust me, he knows,’ said Salt Lake County delegate Emily de Azavedo Brown. ‘Let´s not turn this into a Trump or no Trump thing. Are we a party of principle or a party of a person?’
Romney was one of seven GOP senators who voted to convict Trump for inciting the deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
The Senate ultimately voted 57-43 to acquit the former president, failing to meet the 67-vote threshold to convict.
Romney is not facing re-election in 2022.