Mitt Romney Rips Pro-Trump 'Insurrection,' Condemns Colleagues' Attempts to Overturn Election

Senator Mitt Romney, the former Republican nominee for president from Utah, ripped into President Donald Trump and some of his fellow GOP colleagues on Wednesday for pushing to overturn the election based on false and baseless conspiracy theories of voter fraud.

The fiery rebuke was meant to be a floor speech given as Congress congregated earlier in the day for a joint session to certify President-elect Joe Biden's victory. However, a pro-Trump mob forced him to instead release a statement, after thousands of violent insurrectionists stormed the Capitol building and forced lawmakers, staff and reporters to hide within the complex.

"We gather today due to a selfish man's injured pride and the outrage of his supporters whom he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months and stirred to action this very morning," Romney said. "What happened here today was an insurrection, incited by the president of the United States."

Congress planned to reconvene Wednesday night to certify Biden's win once the building is cleared of rioters, who violently broke through doors and windows to infiltrate the building. Not since the war against the British during the War of 1812 was the Capitol seized by adversaries.

Mitt Romney
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and others watch the joint session of Congress to certify the 2020 Electoral College results on January 6 in Washington, DC. Photo by Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty

At one point, Capitol Police had guns drawn as they barricaded the door of the House floor to prevent insurrectionists from reaching those in the room, including lawmakers. Those in the building were forced to go into lockdown and flee to secure, secret locations.

At least one person was shot, and later died.

Romney described those of his Republican colleagues who still planned to contest certifying several battleground states where Biden won as being complicit in attacking America's democratic institutions.

"Those who choose to continue to support his dangerous gambit by objecting to the results of a legitimate, democratic election will forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy," Romney continued. "They will be remembered for their role in this shameful episode in American history. That will be their legacy."

Capitol building seized by pro-Trump insurrectionists
U.S. Capitol police officers point their guns at a door that was vandalized in the House Chamber during a joint session of Congress on January 6 in Washington, DC. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty

Some House Republicans who backed the move to contest Biden's win announced they would no longer support the futile endeavor following the attack on the Capitol. However, it appeared that the bulk of the contesters still planned to press forward with their objections. The effort is led by Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

Those who stormed the Capitol were part of the "Stop the Steal" protest that caused tens of thousands of Trump's supporters from across the country to assemble in the nation's capital and decry the "rigged" election.

The D.C. National Guard was eventually deployed to quell the violence. Pro-Trump forces were able to occupy what is typically one of the most secure buildings on the planet for hours as part of an utter failure by Capitol Police to secure the complex.

"We must not be intimidated or prevented from fulfilling our constitutional duty. We must continue with the count of Electoral College votes," Romney continued. "In light of today's sad circumstances, I ask my colleagues: Do we weigh our own political fortunes more heavily than we weigh the strength of our Republic, the strength of our democracy, and the cause of freedom? What is the weight of personal acclaim compared to the weight of conscience?"