Once their bitter target, but, ever since he voted to convict President Donald Trump during his Senate impeachment trial, Mitt Romney had become the new darling of the Democrats.
Romney was the sole member of the Senate to break from party lines in voting on whether to remove Trump from office. While his guilty vote had no effect on the outcome of the trial — acquittal on both counts — Democrats have publicly lauded the 2012 GOP presidential nominee for his decision. And the mere mention of his name has elicited loud applause on the Democratic primary campaign trail on multiple occasions.
Among the “love letters” to Romney twitted by the Dems:
“Voting to convict this president is an act of patriotism. Thank you for yours,” tweeted presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, tweeted about Romney, saying, “Senator Romney reminds us that it is not impossible to do the right thing, it’s just hard.”
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., was especially effusive with his praise for Romney. “At a time when many wonder what honor is left in public life, there stands Mitt Romney,” he tweeted.
During last week’s Democratic debate, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., took a moment to recognize Romney for breaking ranks with the GOP and voting against Trump.
“There was courage from Mitt Romney who took a very, very difficult vote,” Klobuchar said, receiving thunderous applause in response.
Klobuchar received a similar crowd response when she lauded Romney at a New Hampshire rally on Sunday.
“You know this world’s upside down when a Democratic crowd is cheering the Republican nominee for president,” Klobuchar said.
Indeed, when Romney ran for president in 2012, he was targeted by Democrats before he even secured the Republican nomination. At the time, The Atlantic described “an unprecedented effort to tarnish” Romney, which was being carried out by unions, political groups, and even then-President Barack Obama’s campaign.
This included associating the moderate Romney with “the extreme tea party agenda” and deriding him as rich and not working for the middle class. A pro-Obama ad linked him to a woman’s death from cancer after Romney’s company, Bain Capital, bought out and closed the steel plant company that had employed her husband five years earlier.
This is in sharp contrast to Romney’s treatment from Democrats in 2020. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. even nominated Romney — along with Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., who also voted against Trump despite political pressure — for the Profile in Courage Award that is given by Boston’s John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.
Of course, Romney’s own party has been far less appreciative.
President Trump swatted at Romney during a White House event with governors from across the country Monday, telling Utah’s governor “we don’t want him.”
“How’s Mitt Romney? You keep him. We don’t want him,” Trump said to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) at the event focusing on business development.
There have even been calls among his fellow GOP legislators to have him recalled, as a bill which would allow that has picked up steam in Utah.