In the House of Representatives chamber before President Joe Biden’s speech, a member reportedly saw Romney, 75, warn fellow Republican Santos, 34, “You don’t belong here,” as the representative passed by.
After the event, Romney attacked Santos for sitting beside Biden, 80, and “trying to shake hands” with him. Romney thought this was improper “given that he’s under an ethics investigation,” he told reporters.
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Instead of parading in front of the president and guests entering the chamber, he should be seated in the back row and silent, the man observed.
According to USA Today, the senator reportedly referred to Santos as “a sick puppy” for lying. He admitted to CNN that he was unaware of Santos’ immediate response. But Santos did seem to respond more publicly, tweeting after the incident, “Hey @MittRomney, just a reminder that you will NEVER be PRESIDENT!”
Santos has drawn criticism after admitting that he made false statements in his biography, resume, and financial disclosures. He acknowledged that, contrary to what he had previously said, he had never worked for Citigroup or Goldman Sachs and had never attended New York University or Baruch College.
Further fabrications included his claims to be Jewish (he later clarified this to mean “Jew-ish”) and that his mother was at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, even though she wasn’t even in the country at the time.
Santos is presently the subject of federal, municipal, and House Ethics Committee investigations. Republicans from New York have joined the chorus of those calling him to resign.
Mitt Romney confronts George Santos at SOTU: “You don’t belong here” https://t.co/SrXFGmfWeB
— LGBTQ Nation (@lgbtqnation) February 8, 2023
However, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has yet to request the resignation of the inexperienced member, which his colleagues have ridiculed. Romney had voiced his dissatisfaction with McCarthy’s inaction.
Romney told reporters, “He shouldn’t be in Congress, and they’re going to go through the process and hopefully get him out.” But if he felt any shame, he wouldn’t be there, and he shouldn’t be there.