POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Mitt Romney’s commencement speech at Johns Hopkins University interrupted by protesters

May 23, 2024, 1:54 PM | Updated: 3:31 pm

mitt romney at johns hopkins commencement ceremony...

Sen. Mitt Romney attends Johns Hopkins University's commencement ceremony on May 23, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Will Kirk/Johns Hopkins University)

(Will Kirk/Johns Hopkins University)

BALTIMORE — Protestors briefly interrupted Republican Sen. Mitt Romney as he spoke at Johns Hopkins University’s commencement ceremony on Thursday. The specific message of the protestors wasn’t clear from the school’s live stream of the ceremony, the Deseret News reported.

The interruption came as Romney talked about China’s efforts to “destroy the liberal world order,” a recording of the ceremony showed.

Sirens and horns rang out as he spoke.

“[It’d] be too bad if we didn’t have a demonstration… It’s nice to make a difference,” Romney said in response to the interruption.

A spokesperson for Johns Hopkins University told the Deseret News that the protestors were escorted from the event.

Read below for a transcript of the beginning of Romney’s interrupted speech. Hear the senator’s full speech on Johns Hopkins University’s website

This transcript has been edited for brevity.

Sen. Mitt Romney: I am going to talk about a personal experience some years ago. I was flying.

I was sitting in the back row on a flight to Greenville, South Carolina. Suddenly, the plane became very turbulent and the entire cabin went entirely silent.

The woman sitting next to me was so frightened she wrapped her arm around my leg and let out a blood-curdling scream.

I said to her, “It’s okay to hold on to my leg. But you’re going to be just fine.”

Now, your [the graduates] flight through life is also going to be turbulent. But I’m going to tell you what I told her.

You’re going to be just fine.

China and fellow authoritarians are working to destroy the liberal world order and replace American leadership.

[Sirens and horns begin going off]

Dictators are emboldened. Putin invades Ukraine and murders his political opponents. Xi Jinping brutalizes the Uyghurs

[As sirens continue]: Be too bad if we didn’t have a demonstration wouldn’t it be you know, it’s nice to make a difference.

I think that’s the Good Humor truck. Does anybody want a stick of ice cream?

I’m going to go, on you can hear me all right?

[Applause]

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Mitt Romney’s commencement speech at Johns Hopkins University interrupted by protesters