Vance claps back at Romney over Trump-related criticism

Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio) made it clear Thursday that he didn’t appreciate Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) criticizing his appearance at former President Trump’s trial as “embarrassing” and advised his colleague from Utah to focus more on his legislative work than passing judgment on fellow Republican senators.

“Mitt Romney of all people is probably the least equipped to criticize how people have conducted themselves vis-a-vis Donald Trump,” Vance said.

“He attacked him and then he begged him for a job, and then he attacked them again and begged him for endorsement,” the senator added.

Vance was referencing Romney’s outspoken criticism of Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. Romney after Trump’s election met with the then-president-elect at the Trump National Golf Club.

Vance alluded to Romney’s possible interest in serving in Trump’s Cabinet and his bid for Trump’s endorsement before his 2018 Senate campaign. Romney accepted Trump’s endorsement but decided not to mention Trump in a campaign video.

“Mitt’s been on sort of three sides of every issue in public policy in this country the last 20 years. I think that he should stick to being a legislator and try to do a good job for the people of Utah. When he attacks his colleagues, I think it’s counterproductive,” Vance told reporters.

Vance clapped back at Romney after the Utah senator told reporters it was “demeaning” for GOP senators and House members to show up at Trump’s trial in New York over concealing hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

“I think it’s a little demeaning to show up in front of a courthouse and — particularly one where we’re talking about an allegation of paying a porn star,” Romney told reporters Wednesday.

Vance was one of a few Republican senators who showed up at Trump’s trial in New York. Others attending included Sens. Rick Scott (Fla.) and Tommy Tuberville (Ala.).

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) showed up at the courthouse Tuesday to denounce the trial as a “sham.”

At least nine Republican lawmakers showed up to the trial Thursday, putting House Republicans in danger of effectively losing control of the House floor because of attendance issues.

Romney told reporters that he found the displays of loyalty “embarrassing.”

“There is a level of dignity and decorum that you expect of people who are running for the highest station in the land, and going out and prostrating themselves in front of the public to try and apparently curry favor with the person who’s our nominee, it’s a little embarrassing,” Romney said.

Vance told Fox News in an interview Tuesday that he was there “to support a friend,” calling Trump’s legal ordeal a “very depressing way to spend five, six weeks of your life when you know that you’re innocent.”

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