Embattled Rep. George Santos (R-NY) and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) exchanged some harsh words prior to the State of the Union address on Tuesday.
After video captured the two Republicans briefly speaking as lawmakers entered the House floor, Romney confirmed he told the New York representative he shouldn’t be there.
“I didn’t expect that he’d be standing there trying to shake hands with every senator and the president of the United States,” Romney told reporters after the speech when asked why he went out of his way to say that to Santos.
“Given the fact that he is under ethics investigation, he should be sitting in the back row and staying quiet instead of parading in front of the president and people coming into the room,” Romney added.
The senator called Santos’ claims that he embellished parts of his resume ridiculous.
“Look, embellishing is saying you got an A when you got an A-minus. Lying is saying you graduated from a college you didn’t even attend,” Romney said. “And he shouldn’t be in Congress. And they’re going to go through the process and hopefully get him out. But he shouldn’t be there and if he had any shame at all, he wouldn’t be there.”
Mitt Romney on Santos:— The Republican Accountability Project (@AccountableGOP) February 8, 2023
Q: "You just said, ‘you don’t belong here’?"
Q: "Why did you say that?"
Romney: "I didn’t expect he’d be standing there trying to shake hands with every senator and the president of the United States."pic.twitter.com/jCXlvvEGrB
Romney said he wasn’t sure if Santos responded to him, though video shows them clearly exchanging words.
Not clear what was said here between Romney and Santos pic.twitter.com/1ZqzW6WOCY— Acyn (@Acyn) February 8, 2023
Santos reportedly called him an "a**hole" and followed up on Twitter, reminding Romney he "will never be president."
Rep. George Santos describes, to me, his exchange with Sen. Mitt Romney during the State of the Union tonight:— Kadia Goba (@kadiagoba) February 8, 2023
Mitt: You don’t belong here.
Santos: Go tell that to the 142K that voted for me.
Mitt: You’re an ass.
Santos: You’re a much bigger asshole.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) said Romney's comments were “the rudest I’ve ever seen a human being be to another human being," according to The New York Times.
Other Republicans also criticized Romney for his remarks.
Not defending Santos at all here, but has Romney ever directly confronted Biden for saying he wanted to put black people "back in chains"? And did he confront Harry Reid over the lie about not paying taxes? https://t.co/h11enXiARh— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) February 8, 2023