Romney Not Switching Parties, Contrary to Online Claim

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Quick Take

Sen. Mitt Romney has sometimes been critical of fellow Republicans and veered from the party line. But an Instagram post falsely claims Romney “threatens to leave the Republican Party and Join Democrats.” A Romney spokesperson said there is “zero truth” to the claim, and the senator has filed for reelection in 2024 as a Republican.


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Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah — who was his party’s nominee for president in 2012, losing to then-President Barack Obama — has been an occasional critic of fellow Republicans in recent years.

Romney voted to impeach then-President Donald Trump in 2020 — the only Republican senator to do so. He was also one of seven Republican senators to vote for Trump’s impeachment following the assault on the Capitol in 2021. Romney has also called for the resignation of Republican Rep. George Santos of New York, who was indicted in May for wire fraud, money laundering and other federal charges.

Because of his independent streak and willingness to work across the aisle, Romney has sometimes been praised by his Democratic colleagues.

But a July 19 Instagram post by conservative comedian Terrence K. Williams distorts Romney’s political allegiance, falsely claiming, “Senator #MittRomney Threatens to Leave Republican Party and Join Democrats.” The post has received more than 29,000 likes.

Responding to the claim in social media posts, Romney spokesperson Paige Waltz told the Associated Press, “There is zero truth to misinformation spread by online bots.”

Moreover, Romney has filed to run for reelection to his Senate seat in 2024 as a Republican.

In 2021, Romney addressed the Utah Republican Party after a resolution to censure the senator for his vote on Trump’s impeachment had failed.  In his speech, he spoke of his Republican roots and why he occasionally strays from the party line.

“Oh yeah, you can boo all you like, but I’ve been a Republican all my life,” he said. “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. … But I express my mind as I believe is right and I follow my conscience as I believe is right.”


Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here. Facebook has no control over our editorial content.

Sources

Ballotpedia. “Mitt Romney.” Accessed 1 Aug 2023.

Davidson, Lee. “Republican Sen. Mitt Romney’s political clout just go a lot bigger with Democrats in control.” Salt Lake Tribune. 24 Jan 2021.

Federal Election Commission. Statement of Candidacy: Mr Willard Mitt Romney. Accessed 1 Aug 2023.

Fox, Derick. “Romney: ‘Santos should have resigned a long time ago.’” ABC4. Updated 12 May 2023.

Leibovich, Mark. “Romney, Defying the Party He Once Personified, Votes to Convict Trump.” New York Times. Updated 6 Jan 2021.

Marcelo, Philip. “No, Mitt Romney has not threatened to leave the GOP.” Associated Press. 21 Jul 2023.

Moreno, J. Edward. “Pelosi, Schumer praise Romney after impeachment vote.” The Hill. 5 Feb 2020.

Price, Michelle L. and Mary Claire Jalonick. “Romney, outspoken about his own party, weighs reelection run.” Associated Press. 17 Feb 2023.

Reston, Maeve and Aaron Pellish. “Utah GOP vote to censure Mitt Romney fails while senator is booed at convention.” CNN. 1 May 2021.

Romney.senate.gov. “Romney Statement on Impeachment Vote.” 13 Feb 2021.

Sprunt, Barbara. “7 GOP Senators Voted To Convict Trump. Only 1 Faces Voters Next Year.” NPR. 15 Feb 2021.

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