Mitt Romney defends Liz Cheney from GOP critics, saying she 'refuses to lie' about the 2020 presidential election

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John L. Dorman
·3 min read
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Mitt Romney
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, speaks during a news conference with a group of bipartisan lawmakers to unveil a COVID-19 emergency relief framework in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
  • Romney praised Liz Cheney's integrity as she faces a GOP caucus upset with her criticism of Trump.

  • "Liz Cheney refuses to lie," Romney tweeted on Tuesday.

  • Romney was nearly censured by the Utah GOP last weekend.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

GOP Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah defended House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney on Tuesday, calling attention to the fact that she "refuses to lie" about the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.

Romney took to Twitter to back the increasingly embattled Cheney, a longtime fixture in Republican politics who has been widely criticized by many conservatives in her caucus for her vocal criticism of former President Donald Trump.

"Every person of conscience draws a line beyond which they will not go: Liz Cheney refuses to lie," he wrote. "As one of my Republican Senate colleagues said to me following my impeachment vote: 'I wouldn't want to be a member of a group that punished someone for following their conscience.'"

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Last week, Romney himself faced a raucous crowd at the Utah Republican Party's organizing convention, where he was booed while delivering his speech, according to a video published by The Salt Lake Tribune.

In the video footage, the delegates became highly animated when Romney criticized Trump for his "character issues."

Romney, who voted to impeach Trump in both of his Senate impeachment trials, has been one of the former president's sharpest critics among elected Republicans in Washington, DC.

Despite the Utah senator's stature within the party, he was called a "traitor" and branded a "communist" by some delegates in the crowd, according to the Tribune.

"You can boo all you like," Romney told the delegates at the convention. "I've been a Republican all of my life. My dad [George Romney] was the governor of Michigan and I was the Republican nominee for president in 2012."

Cheney, who has represented her at-large Wyoming congressional seat since 2017, rocketed to a House leadership role after the 2018 midterm elections.

However, the conservative legislator faces increasingly hostile sentiments from many in her party for slamming Trump's debunked election claims and refusing to question the legitimacy of President Joe Biden's 2020 election win.

After being one of only 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in the January 6 Capitol riot, Cheney retained her position in a 145-61 caucus vote in February.

Since then, Cheney's standing within the caucus has severely deteriorated, as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California recently refused to say if she should stay in leadership.

On Tuesday, McCarthy said that Cheney has "got real problems" within the caucus, according to an audio recording reviewed by Axios.

"I've had it with her ... I've lost confidence," the GOP leader told "Fox and Friends" host Steve Doocy in a spate of hot mic comments. "Well, someone just has to bring a motion, but I assume that will probably take place."

During the actual live interview, McCarthy's comments were less pointed, but still concerning for Cheney.

"I have heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair, to carry out the message," he said. "We all need to be working as one if we're able to win the majority."

Republicans are seeking to regain control of the House, which the party lost after the 2018 midterm elections.

Read the original article on Business Insider