Trump allies blast Romney over impeachment vote: 'A sore loser'

House Republican lawmakers closely allied with President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test MORE blasted Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTennessee primary battle turns nasty for Republicans NRCC poll finds McBath ahead of Handel in Georgia Unemployment debate sparks GOP divisions MORE's (R-Utah) announcement that he planned to buck party lines and vote to convict Trump on the impeachment article of abuse of power.

Romney's decision, announced during a somber speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, set off a chorus of criticism from House Republicans, many asserting that the decision was based on a personal dislike of the president and not the facts of the case.

Rep. Lee ZeldinLee ZeldinDemocrat Nancy Goroff wins NY primary to challenge Lee Zeldin Congress pulls punches on Russian bounties firestorm US lawmakers call on EU to label entire Hezbollah a terrorist organization MORE (R-N.Y.), who has played a leading role in defending Trump and was selected to serve on his impeachment defense team, accused the Utah Republican of being a “sore loser” after his electoral loss in the 2012 race against President Obama.

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“Mitt Romney absolutely despises that Donald Trump was elected POTUS & he was not. The sore loser mentality launched this sham impeachment & corruptly rigged & jammed it through the House. It looks like Schiff recruited himself a sore loser buddy on the GOP side to play along,” Zeldin tweeted.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyJudge throws out House GOP lawsuit over proxy voting Republicans fear disaster in November Gaetz set to endorse primary opponent of fellow Florida GOP lawmaker MORE asserted the party remains unified in its support for the president, adding that he doesn't believe Romney's vote reflects the GOP's stance on impeachment.
 

Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzGaetz set to endorse primary opponent of fellow Florida GOP lawmaker The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Progress slow on coronavirus bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Biden VP possible next week; Meadows says relief talks 'miles apart' MORE (R-Fla.), one of the president's closest confidants in Congress, suggested that Romney may be bitter over Trump's decision not to select him to serve as secretary of State after Trump met with him about the position shortly after winning election in 2016.

“I can’t tell if Mitt hasn’t forgiven Trump for not picking him for secretary of State, or if Mitt just hasn’t forgiven himself for giving us four unnecessary years of Obama,” Gaetz told The Hill.

Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) accused the senator of attempting to “inflict maximum damage” due to his turbulent relationship with the president.

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“After his announcement, we learn Mitt Romney queued up a television interview and a magazine article – he is trying to inflict maximum damage on @realDonaldTrump. It’s hard to argue that this decision was born out of anything other than personal animosity towards POTUS,” he tweeted.

"Mitt Romney blows it again!" Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) added on Twitter.

And Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and a close Trump ally, said that while he believes Romney “gave this great thought,” he said he doesn’t understand his decision, arguing there was no evidence of criminality seen in the case and urging the senator to reconsider. 

“Well, there's all kinds of people attributing motives to Sen. Romney; I don't know what his motivation is,” he said in a video posted to his Twitter account. “But I can tell you this: President Trump did not have a problem, did not, basically, put the pressure on – no quid pro quo, no exchange of anything in order to release aid from the U.S. to the Ukraine, none of that. And how do we know? Because we've seen the transcript.”

The comments come after Romney gave an emotional floor speech on Wednesday afternoon where he laid out his reasoning for voting to convict Trump of abuse of power hours before the Senate was set to vote on the articles of impeachment.

“The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a high crime and misdemeanor. Yes, he did,” Romney said.

Romney is expected to be the only Republican in the upper chamber to buck party lines and vote to convict the president.