Romney blasts political extremes in speech accepting JFK award

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneySenators scramble to save infrastructure deal Schumer urges GOP to ignore Trump: He's 'rooting for failure' Senate infrastructure talks on shaky grounds MORE (R-Utah) blasted political extremes on the left and right during his acceptance speech for the John F. Kennedy Library’s “Profile in Courage” award.

In a virtual speech, Romney said many have been disappointed by those “who’ve chosen the easy way, playing to the crowd, itching the ears of the resentful with conspiracies and accusations.”

“I take heart in the fact that such displays are still newsworthy and are generally met with disdain,” he said.

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Romney continued that many are “guilty of a fault less reprehensible though similarly consequential.” He accused the right of spreading false claims about elections, tech and vaccine falsities, while accusing the left of “hyper-woke” accusations.

“Some of us on the right infect the nation with claims of election fraud, tech and media outrages, even vaccine fantasies. From the left come hyper-woke accusations and antipathy towards free enterprise, the very means of our prosperity,” he continued.

The GOP senator said that the squabble diverts attention away from the challenges facing America, like climate change, the national debt and competing with China. He said these challenges, “if ignored, may be tragic.”

Romney was presented the award for being the first U.S. senator to vote to convict a president of their own political party on an impeachment charge.

The Utah Republican was the sole GOP senator to vote to convict then-President TrumpDonald TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Trump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race MORE on one of three charges related to Trump’s effort to press Ukraine to investigate President BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race GOP lawmakers request Cuba meeting with Biden For families, sending money home to Cuba shouldn't be a political football MORE and his son Hunter Biden’s dealings in Ukraine.

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Romney in February joined six other GOP senators in convicting Trump — now out of office — for inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol that led to five deaths. He has since faced scrutiny from within his party over the vote.

Speaking to late-night host Jimmy Fallon after his speech, Romney joked that he wouldn’t have imagined receiving the award, but still called it humbling.

“That is not something I would’ve imagined. More likely to have found little green men on Mars,” Romney said. “It’s very humbling but a great honor and obviously which comes from a family that has sacrificed enormously over the years for our country.”