Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) on Sunday defended Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) amid fellow Republicans refusing to tamp down their outrage over their votes to impeach former President Trump for “incitement of insurrection.”
Appearing on CNN, Collins was pressed on Romney being booed and narrowly avoiding censure by the Utah Republican Party during the state party’s organizing convention the day before.
Collins said she was “appalled” by the boos directed at Romney from fellow Republicans in his state. She praised the Utah senator while urging Republicans to “remember that we are united by fundamental principles.”
Collins added that the Republican Party is “not led by just one person,” appearing to refer to Trump’s stronghold on the GOP well after leaving office.
“We are not a party that is led by just one person. There are many prominent, upcoming younger men and women in our party who hold great promise for leading us,” Collins said. “And I think that all of us who abide by those principles should remember Ronald Reagan’s admonition to Republicans that the person who agrees with you 70 or 80 percent of the time is your friend, not your enemy.”
When asked about attacks from some House Republicans, such as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), against Cheney for fist-bumping President Biden on the floor and speaking out against Trump’s election fraud falsehoods, Collins defended the third-ranking House Republican.
“Liz Cheney is a woman of strength and conscience. And she did what she felt was right,” Collins said. “And I salute her for that.”
Collins went on to call on the GOP to “accept differences” out of concern of becoming “too much” of the Democratic Party that she griped “has been taken over by the progressive left.”
“We need to have room for a variety of views, especially since we adhere to those core principles that I mentioned earlier,” Collins said.
Collins’ defense of Romney and Cheney come on the heels of Republicans continuing to express their outrage over the Republican lawmakers’ votes to convict Trump during the former president’s second impeachment trial.
Collins avoided censure from her state party after she voted to convict Trump during his second impeachment trial after the Maine Republican Party rejected the censure measure against her.
Some House Republicans suggested that Cheney could be ousted as conference chair within a month as prominent members of the caucus fume over her unwillingness to bend to Trump’s enduring influence on the party, following her remarks to reporters last week that the party’s elected leaders were in charge of the GOP.
Romney himself was booed during the Utah Republican Party’s organizing convention on Saturday for his votes to convict Trump, which happened right before the state party’s censure resolution ultimately failed in a 711-798 vote.
Watch Collins’ remarks below:
Republican Sen. Susan Collins says that she was “appalled” by the Utah GOP booing and attempting to censure Sen. Mitt Romney. “We are not a party that is led by just one person.” #CNNSOTU https://t.co/KE6cvsT64I pic.twitter.com/KPXkUgWhcX
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) May 2, 2021