Romney gets standing ovation for impeachment vote during stop in Denver

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyDemocrats broaden probe into firing of State Department watchdog Coronavirus and America's economic miracle Former Romney strategist joins anti-Trump Lincoln Project MORE (R-Utah) received a standing ovation in Denver on Friday night over his vote to convict President TrumpDonald John TrumpDonald Trump and Joe Biden create different narratives for the election The hollowing out of the CDC Poll: Biden widens lead over Trump to 10 points 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.