Conservative group gives awards to Utah’s GOP members of Congress — except Mitt Romney

(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) Sen. Mitt Romney speaks to Republican representatives at the Utah state Capitol in Salt Lake City, Feb. 28, 2020.

Washington • A conservative group is awarding all of Utah’s Republican members of Congress — except Sen. Mitt Romney — its highest award for voting in line with its goals last year.

The American Conservative Union Foundation, which runs the Conservative Political Action Conference that disinvited Romney to attend, says Sen. Mike Lee and Reps. Rob Bishop, John Curtis and Chris Stewart all had scores of 80% or higher on its metric adhering to conservative principles but Romney didn't make the cut at 77%.

“Sen. Mitt Romney [is the] only member of [Utah’s] Republican delegation not earning an award for a conservative voting record,” the group said in a news release Wednesday.

Lee earned the highest rating of 95%, the group said, with Curtis at 88%, Stewart at 86% and Bishop at 81%. The scorecard included votes on judicial nominees, tax policies, education, environment and 2nd Amendment rights — and, of course, the impeachment of President Donald Trump by the House and the trial by the Senate.

Romney was dinged by the group for his vote to convict Trump of abuse of power during that trial and for supporting a public lands bill that included a slew of Utah-specific projects. The weighting of the scorecard also dinged Romney twice for a single vote against a Trump judicial pick who had called then-President Barack Obama an “un-American imposter.”

Romney's office declined to comment.

The ACU is headed by Matt Schlapp — who had told Romney not to attend the conservative group’s February conference and suggested his “physical safety” might be at risk if he did because of his vote to convict Trump in the impeachment trial.

Interestingly, Romney actually votes more in line with the president’s position (80.6%) than Lee (62.9%), according to a tally by the political handicapper FiveThirtyEight.

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