Mitt Romney doubles down attacks on Santos and calls him a ‘sick puppy’

‘I didn’t expect he’d be standing there trying to shake hands with every Senator,’ Romney says

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Wednesday 08 February 2023 17:48 GMT
Mitt Romney doubles down attacks on Santos and calls him a ‘sick puppy’

Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney doubled down on his attacks on scandal-ridden New York GOP Representative George Santos following their tense exchange ahead of the State of the Union.

Mr Santos placed himself near the aisle ahead of the speech as senators and others entered the House chamber on Tuesday night.

As Mr Romney walked past, the two appeared to have an adversarial exchange.

Mr Santos told Semafor that Mr Romney told him, “you don’t belong here”.

“Go tell that to the 142K that voted for me,” Mr Santos said he responded.

“You’re an a**,” Mr Romney said, according to Mr Santos, who supposedly replied, “you’re a much bigger a**hole”.

Mr Romney later told reporters: “I don’t know the exact words I said. He shouldn’t have been there. Look, he’s a sick puppy.”

He added that he didn’t know what Mr Santos told him, but confirmed that he told Mr Santos that he doesn’t belong in Congress.

Asked why, Mr Romney said, “I didn’t expect he’d be standing there trying to shake hands with every Senator and the President of the United States”.

“Given the fact he’s 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,” he added.

Mr Santos has acknowledged that he embellished his resume after reporting by The New York Times revealed that he made up large parts of his background.

“He says he embellished his record. Embellishing is saying you got an A when you got an A minus,” Mr Romney said. “Lying is saying you graduated from a college you didn’t even attend 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.”

Mr Santos tweeted on Tuesday night in response to Mr Romneys rhetoric, “Hey @MittRomney just a reminder that you will NEVER be PRESIDENT!”

Speaker Kevin McCarthy has said that Mr Santos is expected to face an investigation by the House Ethics Committee.

Mr McCarthy said that the House will take measures in accordance with the findings of the possible probe, CNN reported.

The speaker initially said “yes” to CNN when asked on Tuesday if Mr Santos was under investigation, but later added that he was simply the subject of complaints made to the ethics committee.

The speaker was asked about Mr Santos’s constituents asking him to resign.

“Ethics is moving through, and if ethics finds something, we’ll take action. Right now we’re not allowing him to be on committees from the standpoint of the questions that have arisen,” Mr McCarthy said earlier on Tuesday.

Mr Santos also told CNN he’s “not concerned” by an ethics probe. He told reporters that he was looking forward to welcoming residents from his district who travelled to Capitol Hill to call on him to resign.

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