Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) had a decidedly icy conversation with newly-elected Rep. George Santos (R-New York) before the State of the Union address.

In a brief exchange seen by reporters and other congressional employees, Romney told the freshman representative, “You don’t belong here.” Videos of the exchange have been making the rounds on Twitter.

“Go tell that to the 142,000 that voted for me,” Santos said he responded when reporters asked about his exchange.

Romney continued his disparagement of the embattled Representative later with reporters. He called Santos “a sick puppy,” adding, “he shouldn’t have been there.”

The exchange showcases how fractured the Republican party remains in the 118th Congress.

Romney, a well-regarded former presidential candidate, remains steadfastly confident in the institution of the American government. Romney is one of the increasingly rare Republicans that aims toward the ideological center and is willing to criticize populist movements.

Santos, a first-time Representative facing numerous scandals about lies he perpetrated while on the campaign trail, has spent most of his time in the Capitol thumbing his nose at reporters and institutional norms. Santos represents the growing right-wing faction of the party.

Santos’ lying on the campaign trail has marred the beginning of his time in Washington.

This week, the representative announced that he would be stepping down from committee assignments in the wake of the scandal.

Nevertheless, he remains defiant about the exchange with the veteran senator.

“It’s not the first time in history I’ve been told to shut up and go to the back of the room, especially by people who come from a privileged background,” Santos said to reporters on Wednesday. “I’m never going to shut up and go to the back.”

Read more about:

Get the free uPolitics mobile app for the latest political news and videos

iPhone Android

Leave a comment