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Key moments from Mitt Romney’s time in the Senate

Sen. Mitt Romney, who announced in an interview with The Washington Post that he will not seek a second term in the Senate representing Utah, has had a long political career that included a run for president as the 2012 Republican nominee and serving as governor of Massachusetts.

Romney (R), who has twice sought the presidency, was elected to the Senate during the tenure of President Donald Trump, which heralded widening divisions between Romney and the GOP. Romney was the only member of the Senate Republican conference to vote to convict Trump in both of his impeachment trials.

The 76-year-old senator said his decision not to seek reelection was driven by his belief that a second term could be less productive and less satisfying for him. He tied his decision to the disarray he says he sees among House Republicans and his lack of confidence in the leadership of President Biden and Trump.

Here are some moments from his term in office, which ends in January 2025:

Romney was born in Michigan, where his father served as governor, and he attended Brigham Young University in Utah. He reestablished residence in the state in 2018 and was elected to a Senate seat from Utah that November.

His candidacy in Utah was a turning point in his life, since he had shifted his focus from politics after his loss to Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential race.

When he ran for the Senate, Romney had Trump’s endorsement, and his 2018 victory in Utah followed a flirtation with joining Trump’s Cabinet.

Romney — who had earlier criticized Trump with descriptions including “fraud” and “walks like a penguin” — had a turnabout ahead of Trump’s 2017 inauguration. He expressed hope for Trump’s leadership while he was under consideration to be secretary of state. But that rapprochement did not last very long.

In 2020, Romney became the first senator in U.S. history to vote to remove a president of his own party from office, The Post reported.

He was the only Republican to vote to convict Trump in the 2020 impeachment trial on the charge of abuse of power, which centered on allegations that Trump tried to withhold U.S.-taxpayer-funded aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden ahead of the 2020 presidential campaign.

Romney condemned Trump’s actions and cited his own religious faith in a speech on the Senate floor, The Post reported. “I swore an oath before God to exercise impartial justice. I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am,” the Mormon politician said.

It was not the only time in the Trump era that he would break with the base of a party that had moved in Trump’s direction, and the vote came at a political cost for Romney within the GOP.

After the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters, Romney was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial on a charge of inciting the insurrection.

The senator had denounced Trump’s efforts to get Republicans to object to the 2020 presidential election results.

Hours before rioters besieged the Capitol, Romney was filmed at Salt Lake City International Airport being heckled by Trump supporters, who called him a “traitor.”

Last year, Romney joined other Republicans in supporting the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a ruling that struck down a precedent that had guaranteed the right to an abortion nationwide for nearly 50 years.

As a presidential candidate, Romney had backed a reversal of Roe and the withholding of funds from the organization Planned Parenthood.

While Romney’s stance on abortion ran the gamut since early in his political career, he said during his presidential bids that he was “unapologetically pro-life” but did not oppose abortion in all situations, such as in cases of rape or incest.

Ahead of this year’s State of the Union address, Romney had a brief heated exchange with Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) on the House floor, where he appeared to glare at Santos and tell the freshman GOP lawmaker that he should not be in Congress.

Romney said he told Santos, who has admitted to fabricating parts of his biography and is the subject of a House ethics investigation, that he did not belong there.

“He should be sitting in the back row and staying quiet instead of parading in front of the president and people coming into the room,” Romney told reporters. “And he shouldn’t be in Congress,” Romney also said, “and if he had any shame at all, he wouldn’t be there.”

This post appeared first on The Washington Post
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