BOSTON (CBS) – Utah Sen. Mitt Romney broke with his party in President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, voting to convict the president for abusing the power of his office. But at least one fellow Republican is offering the former Massachusetts governor some support.
“I’ve known Mitt Romney for a long time,” current Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday in response to a question about Romney’s vote. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and I respect his decision.”
Trump was not as kind earlier on Thursday, calling Romney a “failed presidential candidate” who “used religion as a crutch” in explaining his vote.
Had failed presidential candidate @MittRomney devoted the same energy and anger to defeating a faltering Barack Obama as he sanctimoniously does to me, he could have won the election. Read the Transcripts!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 6, 2020
“The only one that voted against was a guy that can’t stand the fact that he ran one of the worst campaigns in the history of the presidency,” Trump said in remarks celebrating his acquittal.
Baker had called for an investigation into the charge that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden, but the governor did not say if he thought Trump should be removed from office.
“I believe what the president did was wrong,” Baker said. “I also believe that the entire process was a partisan mess, pre-ordained from the beginning.”
Baker has said he did not vote for Trump in the 2016 election.
“I was concerned about his temperament and I didn’t support him,” Baker told WBZ-TV political analyst Jon Keller in November. “I haven’t seen anything since then that changes my mind.”