George Santos Escalates Feud With Mitt Romney

The feud between Republican Senator Mitt Romney and GOP Representative George Santos is escalating again as Santos fired back after their tense exchange during the State of the Union address.

On Wednesday, Santos told reporters it "wasn't very Mormon" of Romney to confront him on the House floor Tuesday night, saying it was "reprehensible" and "demeaning" that the senator would speak to him that way.

"It's not the first time in history that I've been told to shut up and go to the back of the room, especially by people who come from a privileged background," the congressman raised in Queens, New York, said. "I'm never gonna shut up and go to the back of the room."

The two Republicans were seen engaged in a fiery conversation ahead of President Joe Biden's address this week. While many speculated over what Romney, who is Mormon, said to Santos on the floor, the senator spoke about the exchange with reporters afterward, calling Santos a "sick puppy" who "shouldn't have been there."

Santos Romney Feud Mormon
Representative George Santos, left, waits in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol on January 3, 2023, in Washington, D.C., while Senator Mitt Romney, right, talks to reporters at the Capitol on November 28, 2022. The two lawmakers clashed before President Joe Biden's State of the Union address and the feud has intensified. Win McNamee/Drew Angerer/Getty Images

"I don't think he ought to be in Congress, and he certainly shouldn't be in the aisle trying to shake the hand of the president of the United States and dignitaries coming in," Romney said. "It's an embarrassment."

The senator also argued that because there have been ethics complaints filed against Santos, he should have been "sitting in the back row and staying quiet."

Romney isn't the only Republican colleague to criticize Santos since he was elected to office in November. In the month since the new Congress has begun, it's been reported that the congressman heavily fabricated parts of his resume and background, and that he potentially violated ethics related to his campaign finances.

His local GOP chapter in Nassau County of Long Island, N.Y., has explicitly said that Santos is "not welcome" and that he "should not serve in public office." Other New York Republicans have called for his removal and some of his constituents rode a bus to the Capitol on Tuesday to call for his resignation.

Social media users were quick to call out Santos for going after Romney's Mormon faith and to poke fun at the reputation Santos has earned in recent weeks.

"Serial Republican liar Santos calling Romney a bad Mormon is really something else," journalist Kaz Weida tweeted.

"And as one of the original founders of the Mormon Church, George Santos would know," Democrat strategist Zac Petkanas wrote.

TV writer Frank Lesser also joked on Twitter, "'And I know a thing or two about his religion, as I'm Mormon myself,' Santos added, later clarifying that he meant he was 'MORE into MEN.'" Santos is gay.

Newsweek has reached out to Romney for comment.