Immediately after Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) announced that he would vote to convict President Donald Trump on the abuse of power impeachment article, Donald Trump Jr. raised a battle cry to expel Romney from the party.
Mitt Romney is forever bitter that he will never be POTUS. He was too weak to beat the Democrats then so he’s joining them now.
He’s now officially a member of the resistance & should be expelled from the @GOP.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 5, 2020
Some Republicans dismissed the idea out of hand, in one case literally laughing off the idea.
Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) was nonplussed. “I don’t really know how you expel someone from the Republican party,” he said, adding: “I’m glad Mitt’s a Republican.”
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) sided with Cramer, adding that Romney has stuck with the party on other issues.
“No, I don’t think so,” he said on whether Romney even could be removed. “Mitt’s been very supportive on a number of other issues. This is just where we respectfully disagree.”
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) was terse: “Nope, not at all.”
Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) merely laughed.
Some of Romney’s colleagues, however, dodged Trump Jr.’s suggestion rather than casting it aside.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) brushed off the question, urging reporters to focus on Trump’s inevitable acquittal.
Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) also avoided answering the question, instead saying that Romney’s was a “disappointing vote.”
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) joined his taciturn colleagues, saying that Romney’s decision is “between him and the good people of Utah.”
Romney will be the only Republican to defect on the vote to convict the President. Besides his yes vote on conviction for abuse of power, the vote will be strictly along party lines and the President will be acquitted thanks to the Republican majority.