Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, was greeted by a barrage of insults and boos Saturday from a crowd of more than 2,100 delegates at the state Republican convention.
Despite the boos, Utah Republicans rejected a motion to censure Romney over his votes to impeach former President Donald Trump, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
“I’m a man who says what he means, and you know I was not a fan of our last president’s character issues,” Romney said as a chorus of jeers rose from those gathered inside the Maverick Center.
"Oh yeah, you can boo all you like, but I've been a Republican all my life," Romney added. "My dad was a governor of Michigan, my dad worked for Republican candidates that he believed in. I worked for Republicans across the country, and if you don't recall, I was the Republican nominee for President in 2012."
Don Guymon, sponsor of the censure resolution, previously said Romney should be held accountable after voting against Trump in both impeachment trials, The Associated Press reported.
"I understand I have a few folks who don't like me terribly much and ... I'm sorry about that," Romney said. "I express my mind as I believe is right and I follow my conscious as I believe is right."
Romney has often distanced himself from others in his party who have supported Trump, and he was among seven Republican senators who joined Democrats in voting in favor of convicting the former president for his role in events leading to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. He is the only Republican senator to vote to convict Trump in both of his impeachment trials.
Speaking with CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she was "appalled" by the crowd's jeering of Romney.
"Mitt Romney is an outstanding senator who serves his state and our country well," Collins said. "We Republicans need to remember that we are united by fundamental principles, such as a belief in personal responsibility, individual freedom, opportunity, free markets, a strong national defense. Those are the principles that united us. We are not a party that is led by just one person."
Romney was heckled in January by Trump supporters while flying from Washington, D.C., to Utah. He had been among a group of senators who called for an end to an effort to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in the 2020 election, which angered some in the former president's base.
He was also booed in 2012 at the NAACP convention in Houston, Texas, after vowing to eliminate the Affordable Care Act and other "non-essential, expensive programs" if elected president.