Romney gets Profile in Courage Award for impeachment vote

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, walks through a hallway at the state Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. Republicans in the state are unusually divided on the president, so while some were heartened to see Romney cast what he described as an agonizing vote dictated by his conscience, Trump supporters were left angry and frustrated. (Laura Seitz/The Deseret News via AP)

BOSTON (AP) — U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney was named the recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award on Friday for splitting with his party and becoming the only Republican to vote to convict former President Donald Trump during his first impeachment trial.

The award was created by the family of the late president to honor public figures who risk their careers by embracing unpopular positions for the greater good, and is named after Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Profiles in Courage.”

“Senator Romney’s commitment to our Constitution makes him a worthy successor to the senators who inspired my father to write ‘Profiles in Courage,’ ” Kennedy’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy, said in a statement from the JFK Library Foundation. “He reminds us that our Democracy depends on the courage, conscience and character of our elected officials.”

Romney, 74, said he is inspired by the memory of his late father, George Romney, an automotive executive and governor of Michigan.

“When I think of courage, I think of my Dad,” said the Utah Republican, who is also the former governor of Massachusetts. “He did what was right regardless of consequence. I aspire to his example, though I have failed from time to time. We must subordinate our political fortunes to the causes of freedom, equal opportunity and truth, particularly as they are under assault here and abroad.”

Trump’s first trial in 2020 focused on the former president’s relationship with Ukraine. Romney became the first senator in U.S. history to vote for the conviction of a president who belonged to his own party, and was subject to intense criticism and even threats from Trump’s supporters.

But he did not back down, the foundation said.

When Trump and many Republicans questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election, Romney defended the integrity of the results and opposed efforts to overturn them.

After the Jan. 6 attempted insurrection by Trump’s supporters at the U.S. Capitol, Romney called on his fellow Republican senators to stand up for the truth about the election. At Trump’s second impeachment trial, Romney was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict the former president of inciting the attack.

Kennedy’s book recounts the stories of eight U.S. senators who risked their careers by taking principled stands for unpopular positions. The award was created by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation in 1989.

Romney will be presented with the award, a sterling silver lantern symbolizing a beacon of hope, at a virtual ceremony in May.

Previous winners have included Presidents Barack Obama, Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush; U.S. Sen. John McCain; and Liberian peace activist and Nobel laureate Leymah Gbowee. The recipients are selected by a bipartisan 15-member panel of national leaders.

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  • KA March 26, 2021 at 1:05 pm Reply

    The MAGAts won’t like this.

  • David Bair March 26, 2021 at 5:46 pm Reply

    Makes me want to puke!

  • Alan Wild March 26, 2021 at 8:50 pm Reply

    He is no hero, but rather a traitor.

  • Alan K Bindrup March 26, 2021 at 9:06 pm Reply

    Gag me with a spoon!

  • RJ March 26, 2021 at 10:17 pm Reply

    When are you going to make it official and transfer over to the Democratic Party. We in Utah need to get him out of office, what a joke.

  • Kramer March 27, 2021 at 6:57 pm Reply

    So stunning and brave

  • skeetr April 13, 2021 at 1:35 pm Reply

    Lot of you hard-R repubs commenting here are probably also LDS, you all are guilty of idolatry with this Republican sports team fanaticism. Romney seems to at least recall his morals and have the balls to make a stand about em

    rest of you baa baa baa whatever you read on facebook to keep up face with our bigoted families. cowards! pathetic humans!

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