It turns out Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) is definitely not a fan of Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), a detail that the circumstances of the State of the Union address that President Joe Biden delivered on Tuesday provided the opportunity to expose.
Confronted with Santos shaking hands with fellow attendees, Romney told the Republican member of the House that he didn’t “belong” there — seemingly referring both to his stance up close in the chamber and his Congressional seat. Santos, of course, remains under what appear to be multiple serious investigations, including at the federal level, where issues of campaign finance and the Congressman potentially taking thousands of dollars raised on a veteran’s behalf have come under scrutiny.
“I didn’t expect that he’d be standing there, trying to shake hands with every Senator and the president of the United States,” Romney told reporters of the New York Congressman. “Given the fact that he’s under ethics investigation, 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. He says that he embellished his record. Embellishing is saying you got an A when you got an A-. Lying is saying you graduated from a college you didn’t even attend. And he shouldn’t be in Congress, and they’re going to go through the process and hopefully get him out. He shouldn’t be there, and if he had any shame at all, he wouldn’t be there.”
The House Ethics Committee is a panel that is always split evenly between the two major parties and has put Santos under investigation. The committee can impose penalties and settle on findings the target of a probe broke the law. “If for some way when we go through Ethics that he has broken the law, then we will remove him, but it’s not my role,” Speaker Kevin McCarthy has said. Among the issues specifically presented to that panel have been financial disclosures Santos made when still a candidate, which he filed months late. The materials included none of many evidently required details on clients for his supposedly lucrative work in high-end investment services, helping add to uncertainty about where he got his money — including the nearly three-quarters of a million dollars that earlier claims said he personally loaned his campaign despite being not exactly wealthy not long before that point.
It doesn’t seem like Santos will likely be re-elected, considering a recent poll found nearly 80 percent of his constituents supported the idea of him resigning — including over 70 percent of Republicans! Biden’s speech Tuesday was also marked by predictable disruptions from Republicans including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), who was yelling about the southern border and Chinese espionage, among other things.
MITT on Santos: “He shouldn't be in Congress. And they're gonna go through the process and hopefully get him out. But he shouldn't be there and if he had any shame at all, he wouldn't be there.” pic.twitter.com/9cAQ2dsO1V
— Alan He (@alanhe) February 8, 2023