Ben Shapiro: Democrats, media praising Romney 'were declaring him the worst person on earth' in 2012

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro was fired up Thursday in response to the sudden praise directed at Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, from Democrats and members of the media after he broke ranks with his party and voted to convict President Trump of abuse of power in the Senate impeachment trial Wednesday.

"I'm not gonna hear the left champion him as a hero, [or hear] from House Democrats that Mitt Romney is a man of courage," Shapiro said on "The Ben Shapiro Show."

"Go screw yourselves. And when I hear MSNBC cheering Mitt Romney ... you can shove it. All you people in 2012 were declaring him the worst person on earth so Obama could retain his presidency and now you’re all 'Oh, Mitt Romney.'”

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Romney became the first senator in American history Wednesday to vote to remove a president from his own party from office, a shocking decision that earned him praise from many left-leaning celebrities and media outlets.

Shapiro, who said he found Romney's vote to be "dead wrong," but respected his right to reach his own conclusion, was quick to point out that the same Democrats who seem to be embracing the senator now "savaged" him during his 2012 presidential election bid.

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"The media and the Democrats, the same people who are praising him to the skies ... five seconds ago, you guys were declaring that he was a racist who put dogs on the top of his car, was going to put black people back in chains, wanted to shove women into binders, that he was a horrible one-percenter who disdained the poor, who fired people so they would lose their healthcare program and their wives would die of cancer," Shapiro said.

Shapiro added that the media's brutal portrayal of Romney, who is "the most milquetoast human being to ever walk the planet," but "a very upright citizen" led to Trump's victory in 2016.

"Republicans were like, 'Well, you’re gonna paint anyone this way? Well, then how about Trump…take this,'" he explained.

Shapiro also rejected criticism of Romney from many on the right, who have accused him of "doing it for the thrill" and attempting to "buy media love" with his surprising vote.

"On the right, I'm not willing to hear that Mitt Romney, who we all agreed in 2012 ... was a good guy ... it is pretty obvious that he is not a bad man and that he is not motivated by the desire of MSNBC love," Shapiro said. "I think that he felt that he had taken an oath of office and as he analyzed the evidence this is the side he came down on. That’s his prerogative."

Trump's son Donald Trump Jr. called for Romney's expulsion from the Republican Party moments after he went public with his vote, tweeting "Mitt Romney is forever bitter that he will never be POTUS. He was too weak to beat the Democrats so he's joining them now. He's officially a member of the resistance & should be expelled from the GOP."

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Romney's fellow Republican senators, while making clear they disagreed with his vote, seemed to stand by him despite the attacks from Trump Jr.

"Anyone who falls for the 'strange new respect' line from Democrats is a fool or a moron because guess what, the 'strange new respect' lasts for approximately as long as they don’t realize Mitt Romney is gonna vote with Trump on 95 percent of the issues," Shapiro concluded.

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"He [Romney] didn’t change... you are just a bunch of opportunistic a-holes. That’s what’s happening here."