GOVERNMENT

Utah GOP boss: Disagree with your senator on impeachment? Vote him out.

Feb 17, 2021, 5:03 PM | Updated: 5:45 pm
Utah Senators on impeachment...
The Utah Republican Party released a statement accepting the different votes of the state's US Sens. Mitt Romney and Mike Lee in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY —  Despite hundreds of Uthans attaching their names to an online petition calling for Utah Sen. Mitt Romney to be censured for his recent vote to impeach former President Donald Trump, it appears the state GOP is not ready to go there.

On Saturday, Feb. 13, seven Republican senators, including Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) joined all 50 Democrats in a 57-43 vote during the second impeachment trial of the former president. The vote fell short of the 67 total votes needed to ban Mr. Trump from running for public office ever again.

Utah’s other U.S. senator, Mike Lee, was among the 43 Republicans voting to acquit.

The online petition accuses Romney of failing to represent the average conservative Utah Republican and misrepresenting himself as a Republican, especially on impeachment.

The Louisiana Republican Party censured Sen. Bill Cassidy for saying the former president was guilty of inciting an insurrection on Jan. 6 at the US Capitol. 

Ditto in Wyoming where the state Republican Party earlier this month called for Rep. Liz Cheney to resign for her vote to impeach the former president. She said she won’t resign. 

Utah senators on impeachment 

Utah Republican Party Chairman Derek Brown said censure wouldn’t help the state GOP in the future. He said the state party needs to regroup “and figure out what it is that we stand for and then move forward.”

Brown joined KSL NewsRadio’s “Live Mic” host Lee Lonsberry to discuss.

“We have two senators who experienced effectively the same set of facts and came to different conclusions,” Brown said.

He added he hadn’t had any contact with either senator since the vote Saturday.

“What would you say to them? What message do you have for for them?” Lee asked.

“I think the most important thing for the Republican Party is to heal, to move forward,” Brown said. 

Not everyone in the Republican Party is required to think the same, he said, quoting former President Ronald Reagan: “Unity of thought doesn’t require unanimity of thought.”

“We are going to have times when we differ on those principles. I know there are people saying, well maybe we should, you know, do censures like other states are doing. I don’t think that’s helpful,” Brown said. “I’m not going to let that happen. And what I’m going to do is make sure that we circle the wagons around the principles that we believe in, and frankly, the principles that have made Utah the great state it is.”

In other states where Republican representatives or senators voted to convict the former president of impeachment, “would you urge them away from censure?” Lee asked.

“Well, I think that the only real censure that matters, to the extent there is such a thing, is at the ballot box,” Brown said. ” . . . If you want to censure someone, you don’t re-elect them. There is power in the fact that a healthy political party can have a dialogue and there can be disagreement. That’s not a bad thing. I mean, you know, that doesn’t mean you don’t hold them accountable at the ballot box.”

Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

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Utah GOP boss: Disagree with your senator on impeachment? Vote him out.