Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., and Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, were caught on camera Tuesday at the State of the Union address engaged in a tense exchange just a few minutes before President Joe Biden’s speech.
The exchange between the two began after Santos secured a seat along the aisle where Biden would be coming in. As Romney came into the chamber to take his seat, he passed Santos and the two spoke.
“You don’t belong here,” Romney appeared to say. “You ought to be embarrassed,” a Romney continued.
Santos said, “Go tell that to the 142,000 that voted for me.”
Romney called Santos an “ass” and then turned and headed to his seat.
“You’re a bigger ass----,” Santos responded.
Romney glared at Santos, who smiled slightly, nodded and seemed to dismiss Romney before continuing to greet others. https://t.co/4msQfD37dD pic.twitter.com/5yK4TyIhf9— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 8, 2023
“I didn’t expect that he’d be standing there trying to shake hands with every senator and the president of the United States,” Romney said afterward to reporters.
The exchange was seen on the pool camera in the chamber and sparked comments on social media.
Romeny called Santos a “sick puppy,” and said he should resign. Santos is under a House ethics investigation for allegedly lying during his campaign.
“Given the fact that he’s under an ethics investigation, he should be sitting in the back row and staying quiet instead of parading in front of the president and people coming into the room,” Romney continued with reporters.
“He says he, you know, that he embellished his record. Look, embellishing is saying you got an A when you got an A-. Lying is saying you graduated from a college that you didn’t even attend, and he shouldn’t be in Congress.”
Following the speech, Santos tweeted about Romney, “You will NEVER be PRESIDENT.”
Hey @MittRomney just a reminder that you will NEVER be PRESIDENT! https://t.co/ANxiQPxAua— George Santos (@Santos4Congress) February 8, 2023