Mitt Romney, once the toast of Fox News and conservative media during his 2012 attempt to oust Barack Obama from the White House, is now persona non grata and a pariah following his Wednesday vote to convict President Donald Trump on an impeachment charge.
After deciding he would vote along with all 47 Democratic senators that the president abused his power by pressuring the Ukrainian president to investigate his political rivals, Romney was warned on Wednesday by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace that this meant “war” with Trumpworld. “Donald Trump will never forgive you for this,” Wallace ominously pointed out.
Indeed, the retribution was immediate and harsh, with Trump’s loudest boosters leading the way on Fox News.
While the president’s son was busy demanding the Utah senator—a “pussy,” as junior described him—be expelled from the Republican Party, and Trump himself was tweeting out an attack ad on “slippery” Romney, Fox Business Network host and informal White House adviser Lou Dobbs shared a poll on his show asking his viewers whether Romney should be booted from the GOP.
“Romney is going to be associated with Judas, Brutus, Benedict Arnold forever when he is not even a footnote in a footnote otherwise, because of his betrayal,” groused the sycophantic Fox host, adding, “The man obviously is confused… operating as if he has multiple personalities.”
An hour later, on his top-rated primetime Fox News program, Tucker Carlson was so incensed with Romney’s “silly moral preening” that he refused to even utter the words “Mitt Romney,” telling his audience that the senator “shall go unnamed” on his show. He would go on to mock the devout Mormon for invoking his faith during his Senate floor speech, calling it an “overwrought ethics lecture from a private equity guy.”
The following hour, Sean Hannity—who was one of Romney’s top cheerleaders in 2012— described Romney as a “diminished figure” and that losing to Obama had clearly ruined him.
"The difference between him and Donald Trump is Donald Trump fought every single day, was tough, and tough enough to win,” Hannity added, twisting the knife.
Laura Ingraham, meanwhile, followed up Hannity’s show by suggesting that she may try to unseat Romney when he comes up for re-election in 2024.
Complaining that he betrayed the millions who voted for him over Obama in 2012 in order to “throw in with the very people who don't share our goals, who hate us and, by the way, who still hate you,” Ingraham said Romney was just “like all other bitter Never Trumpers” who would rather “see the entire American economy go down the drain than give Trump a victory.”
"Mitt, you made your stand,” she concluded. “Now you should resign. You committed a fraud on the people of Utah, on the Republican Party, on the Constitution, and thoroughly embarrassed yourself. If I have to move there to run against him in four-and-a-half years, I will."
Over on the president’s favorite morning program, the narrative shifted fully to blasting Romney for invoking his faith when deciding to vote to convict Trump.
“‘My faith makes me do this’? Are you kidding?” Brian Kilmeade huffed on Fox & Friends. “What about your faith and this case meld together? That is unbelievable for him to bring religion into this.”
The Fox & Friends co-host went on to mockingly gesture with scare quotes while saying “his faith” again, claiming that this vote had “nothing to do with faith.”
Tellingly, at the National Prayer Breakfast hours later, the president seemingly took aim at Romney for saying he “swore an oath before God to exercise impartial justice” on impeachment.
“I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong,” Trump groused. “Nor do I like people who say, ‘I pray for you’ when they know that that’s not so.”