Matt Schlapp, CPAC chair, said he would be ‘afraid’ for senator’s safety if he attended major conservative conferenceA prominent conservative activist and Trump supporter has insisted he wishes “no harm” to Mitt Romney, despite saying the Utah senator would be “afraid for his physical safety” if he attended a major conservative conference near Washington later this month.Last week, Romney cast the sole Republican vote to convict and remove the president during Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.“I am sure to hear abuse from the president and his supporters,” the 2012 Republican nominee for president said in his speech on the Senate floor, outlining a decision he said was made according to his religious faith and sense of duty to the US constitution.Praised in the media and in liberal circles, Romney was attacked by Trump, vilified by the president’s family members and allies and criticized by leaders of his own party, which is run by his niece Ronna McDaniel.Matt Schlapp is chair of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and husband of Mercedes Schlapp, a former White House communications aide now working for Trump’s re-election campaign.On Sunday, Schlapp told Gray Television’s Full Court Press he would not “credential [Romney] as a conservative” at CPAC, which takes place later this month, but “if he wants to come as a nonconservative and debate an issue with us, maybe in the future we would have him come”.He added: “This year, I would actually be afraid for his physical safety, people are so mad at him.”That prompted rebuke from media figures and politicians.On Monday morning, the West Virginia Democratic senator Joe Manchin told CNN: “I have not met a more honorable person than Mitt Romney … that has the interests of our country … [at heart]. It’s hard to believe that he have stooped this low.”Schlapp sought to play down the prospect of violence, tweeting that he took his “little girls and my 80-year-old mom to CPAC and we have never had a problem with any of our attendees ever …He wrote: “I wish … Romney no harm. I just want him to find a new hobby away from destroying GOP momentum.”At the White House, meanwhile, Trump addressed a gathering of state governors. When Utah’s Republican governor, Gary Herbert, asked a question, Trump said: “How’s Mitt Romney? You keep him. We don’t want him.”Herbert did not respond.
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