Before the State of the Union address on Tuesday night, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) sparred harshly on the House floor. The freshman Republican member was told he should not be in Congress by the Republican senator.
Before President Biden’s speech, congressmen and other visitors could be seen entering the chamber as Romney and Santos had a brief but contentious exchange. Santos smiled slightly, nodded, and appeared to ignore Romney before moving on to welcome others as Romney stared at him.
Later, Romney claimed that he told Santos, whose campaign funds are under investigation and who has admitted to misrepresenting significant portions of his biography, that he did not belong there. Santos resigned from his committee positions last month while being investigated by the House Ethics Committee, comprised of both parties.
After Biden’s speech ended Tuesday night, Romney was asked why he had challenged Santos. He responded, “I didn’t imagine that he’d be standing there wanting to shake hands with every senator and the president of the United States.”
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Romney continued, “Given that [Santos] is the subject of an ethical investigation, he should be sitting in the back row and keeping quiet rather than parading in front of the president and guests entering the room. Santos’s allegations that he had “embellished” his record, according to Romney, are ridiculous.
“Look, exaggerating is claiming an A when you received an A-minus. According to Romney, saying you earned a degree from a university you didn’t even enrol at constitutes lying. He shouldn’t serve in Congress, too. And they will follow the procedure in the hopes of freeing him.
He shouldn’t be there, though, and would leave if he had any sense of shame. Romney’s comments were later supported by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), who called them “the rudest I’ve ever seen a human being be to another human being.”
Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate, was the only Republican to stand and cheer when Biden stated that unemployment was at a 50-year low on Tuesday night. Romney joined Democrats in applauding at various times during Biden’s speech.
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