Sen. Collins Defends Mitt Romney, Liz Cheney Against GOP Attacks Senate Appropriations Committee member Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) listens to testimony from members of the Biden administration during a hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on April 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)
By Jim Thomas | Sunday, 02 May 2021 08:13 PM
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, on Sunday pushed back at intraparty attacks against Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney.
Collins, who won re-election in Maine last year despite strong Democratic opposition, told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union" she was disheartened that fellow Republicans booed Romney at the Utah Republicans' state organizing convention.
"I was appalled," Collins said.
"Mitt Romney is an outstanding senator who served his state and our country well," she added.
Collins and Romney were among seven GOP senators who voted in February to convict former President Donald Trump at his second impeachment trial. A year earlier, Romney was the only Republican to vote to convict Trump on a charge of abuse of power related to his request that Ukraine investigate Biden. The Senate acquitted Trump in both trials.
Both Cheney and Romney have been recently attacked by members of the GOP for criticizing Trump.
Collins in response asked members of her party to be open to other ideas.
"We need to have room for a variety of views," Collins said. "We are not a party that is led by just one person."
Republicans at the convention narrowly rejected a motion to censure Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, for voting to convict Trump.
Romney told the crowd at the convention, "I'm a man who says what he means, and you know I was not a fan of our last president's character issues," the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Collins also praised Cheney, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump this year on a charge of incitement of insurrection for a speech he gave before a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
"Liz Cheney is a woman of strength and conscience, and she did what she thought was right, and I salute her for that," Collins said.
Cheney, the third-ranking House Republican, and a daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, has faced renewed pressure from conservatives in her party after she gave Democratic President Joe Biden a fist bump in the House chamber, where he gave a speech to Congress.
Some argue that the continued attacks against Cheney, and the booing of Romney are evidence that Trump’s grip on the GOP is only growing stronger since he left office.
Republicans in the House are also reportedly considering removing Cheney from her current position as the No. 3 leader in the chamber.