Mitt Romney received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for being the only Republican senator to vote to impeach Donald Trump in his first impeachment trial.
“I really appreciate the honor, but it also makes me feel humbled,” said Romney NBC’s ‘Today Show’ on Friday.
Trump’s first impeachment trial in January 2020 focused on the former president’s relationship with Ukraine. Romney was the only Republican senator to find Trump guilty of either of the two impeachment articles. He came under heavy fire from the former president and Trump supporters for his vote.
“I sleep well because I know I’ve done what I think was right,” Romney said.
He became the first senator to vote to convict a member of his own party, earning him the Kennedy family’s honor.
Mitt Romney received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for his vote to condemn Donald Trump in the former president’s first impeachment trial
Caroline Kennedy and her son, Jack Schlossberg, will present the award to Romney in May 2021 as part of a virtual ceremony.
The Profile in Courage Award was created by the family of the late President John F. Kennedy to honor public figures who risk their careers by taking unpopular positions for the common good.
“I am humbled by the Kennedy family’s recognition today. But I see courage every week from my colleagues in the Senate, many of whom make difficult decisions to do what they think is right, even if it is politically unpopular, ” Romney wrote on Twitter.
Kennedy’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy, told NBC News that Romney’s actions were reminiscent of the lawmakers highlighted in her father’s book, Profiles in Courage.
“He was willing to risk his career and his popularity within his own party to do what is right for our country and follow his conscience and constitution and his impeachment votes,” she said.
Kennedy and her son, Jack Schlossberg, will present the award to Romney in May 2021 as part of a virtual ceremony.
Romney’s vote didn’t matter in the final impeachment – there weren’t enough votes to condemn Trump, even Romney’s – but it made Trump’s impeachment a twofold event that kept the White House from closing the trial. to be painted as democratic partiality.
His vote also earned him Trump’s wrath.
In a speech in the East Room of the White House after he was acquitted, Trump called Romney a “failed presidential candidate” who “used religion as a crutch.”
And then you had some who used religion as a crutch. They’ve never used it before, ”Trump said. “But you know, it’s a failed presidential candidate, so things can happen if you fail to run for president.”
Romney, a devout Mormon, said on the Senate floor ahead of his’ yes’ vote: ‘As a senatorial jury, I have sworn an oath to God to practice impartial justice. ‘
In Trump’s second impeachment trial, held in February after Trump stepped down, seven Republican senators – including Romney – found the former president guilty of “ instigating insurrection ” over the January 6 MAGA riot. But it wasn’t enough votes to convict Trump, because conviction requires a two-thirds majority in the Senate.
Donald Trump condemned Romney for his impeachment vote and called him a failed presidential candidate
Mitt Romney became the first senator to vote to condemn a member of his own party by voting against Donald Trump in January 2020
Romney told NBC’s ‘Today Show’ on Friday that there was ‘some irony’ in receiving the award, not because of his own ‘personal flaws,’ he said, but because he had previously run against a Kennedy, JFK’s younger brother. Ted.
He challenged Kennedy for his seat in the Senate in 1994 and lost the race. Romney later ran for governor of the state and won.
“We became very good friends as time went on and worked together on a piece of legislation to provide health care to all citizens of our state,” said Romney, referring to the health care reform bill he enacted in 2006 as Governor of Massachusetts.
He added that the country needs that kind of duality.
‘I think common ground is the best way to unite the country. I’m afraid if the president of one of the parties instead just follows the demands of the most aggressive wing in his party, you might be happy with that wing, but the nation has become more divided. You have to find common ground and work with people on both sides and get answers to issues that are twofold, ‘he said.