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Romney gets standing ovation for impeachment vote during stop in Denver

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt Romney Eugene Goodman to throw out first pitch at Nationals game White House briefed on bipartisan infrastructure deal but says questions remain On The Money: Consumer prices jumped 5 percent annually in May | GOP senators say bipartisan group has infrastructure deal MORE (R-Utah) received a standing ovation in Denver on Friday night over his vote to convict President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says Putin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE for abuse of power.

Romney earlier this month became the first senator in history to vote to convict a president of his own party. The senator traveled to Colorado on Friday for a discussion on the state of the world's democracies at the University of Denver, according to The Denver Post.

The discussion held at the university's School of International Studies was hosted by the Alliance of Democracies Foundation, a nonprofit established by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former prime minister of Denmark.

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Rasmussen opened the discussion by praising Romney. "I am so honored to be onstage with what I would say is a true profile in courage," Rasmussen said, prompting a standing ovation from the group of nearly 300 people in the university's auditorium, the Post reported.

"There are a couple of times I have said things or taken positions that were more expedient than they were based upon conviction. I remember those things precisely, and I regret them enormously," Romney said. "Years, decades later, and I'm not going to do that anymore."

Later in the discussion, Romney spoke about a "realignment" of political parties in the U.S., saying that many blue-collar Americans voted Democrat for years before Trump's election in 2016 while also suggesting that many college-educated women have left the GOP.

"I think that's difficult for my party because we're not doing well with young people," Romney said. "We're not doing well with minorities. We're not doing well with women. And if you're not doing well with those groups, it's going to be hard long term to be successful." 

The U.S. Senate voted to acquit Trump on Feb. 5, defeating the first article, abuse of power, in a 48 to 52 vote, with Romney breaking with his party to vote for the article. The GOP-led Senate rejected the second charge, obstruction of Congress, in a 47 to 53 vote.