For voting to convict former President Donald Trump in his impeachment trials, Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah will receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.
The announcement was made Friday by the John F. Kennedy Library.
“The award is named for President Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Profiles in Courage, which recounts the stories of eight U.S. senators who risked their careers, incurring the wrath of constituents or powerful interest groups, by taking principled stands for unpopular positions,” a news release from the library noted.
The annual award is presented to “public servants who have made courageous decisions of conscience without regard for the personal or professional consequences.” Recipients are selected by “a distinguished bipartisan committee of national, political, and community leaders.”
The committee members who selected Romney include former Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams; Democratic political strategist David Axelrod; Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas; former Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut; former Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri; former Obama speechwriter Adam Frankel; and multiple members of the staunchly Democratic Kennedy clan.
“When I think of courage, I think of my Dad,” Romney said, according to the release. “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.”
I’m humbled by the Kennedy family’s recognition today. But I see courage every week from my colleagues in the Senate, many of whom make tough decisions to do what they believe is right even though it may be politically unpopular.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) March 26, 2021
The release did not note Romney staunchly opposed Trump’s successful effort to capture the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 and has been a steadfast political opponent of Trump ever since.
According to the release, “During a time of grave threat to U.S. democratic institutions, Mitt Romney has been a consistent but often solitary Republican voice in defense of democracy and the rule of law.”
“In February 2020, after weighing evidence that then-President Donald Trump withheld Congressionally authorized military aid for political gain, Romney voted to convict Trump for abuse of power. As the first Senator to have ever voted to convict a President of his own party, Romney’s courageous stand was historic,” the release said.
“Despite facing unrelenting criticism and public antagonism following this vote, along with threats to his physical safety and demands that he be censured or expelled from the Republican party, Romney has continued to courageously defend the fundamental principles of democratic governance.”
The release also praised Romney for refusing to cast aspersions upon the 2020 election and condemning the Capitol incursion.
“When this deadly attack resulted in an historic second impeachment trial of the former president, Romney joined six Republican Senators in voting to convict Trump of inciting the insurrection,” the release said, failing to note the vote ended in Trump being acquitted of the charge against him.
Twitter buzzed when the award was announced.
By politically unpopular, do you mean against the interests and wishes of your constituents?
— Totally WitchFaced 🇺🇦🌻🇺🇦🌻🇺🇦🌻 (@wonderwitch21) March 26, 2021
If this is the most courageous person you can recognize than courage is dead. The times the @MittRomney showed courage were politically calculated decisions that would not change any outcomes or have any significant impact. To say this is disappointing is an understatement
— Jeff Herz, MBA, CSPO, CSM, 🌻🌻🌻🇺🇦 (@JeffHerz) March 26, 2021
During his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference last month, Trump cited Romney as a symptom of what is wrong with the Republican Party.
“[I]f Republicans do not stick together, the RINOs that we’re surrounded with will destroy the Republican Party and the American worker and will destroy our country itself,” Trump said. “But the Republican Party is united. The only division is between a handful of Washington, D.C., establishment political hacks, and everybody else all over the country.”