Rep. Santos and Sen. Romney Exchange Tense Words Prior to State of the Union Address

On Tuesday night, prior to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) was seen having a tense exchange with Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah).[0] Following the speech, Romney explained to reporters what he told Santos: “He shouldn’t be there. Look, he’s a sick puppy.”[1] Romney added that Santos should not have been “in the aisle trying to shake the hand of the president of the United States and dignitaries coming in. It’s an embarrassment.”

Santos has been under fire for a pattern of telling lies about his past, many of which he admitted weren’t true.[2] He has also been accused of stealing $3,000 from a GoFundMe intended for a veteran’s sick dog.[3] Santos had positioned himself near the centre aisle of the House chamber as senators entered, and his presence there became an issue.[4]

In response, Santos took it back to 2012, tweeting at Romney: “Hey @MittRomney just a reminder that you will NEVER be PRESIDENT!”[1] He later told reporters that Romney’s remarks were “reprehensible” and said the senator’s behavior “wasn’t very Mormon.”[5]

Santos has also been called out for his lies by Rep. Nick LaLota (R-N.Y.), who called him “a sociopath” on CNN Wednesday morning.[6] “He looks for that attention,” LaLota said. “Even the negative attention drives him. It’s become an embarrassment and a distraction to the Republicans in the House.”[6]

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) shared with reporters that several ethics complaints have been registered against Santos, but the House Ethics Committee has not yet launched an investigation because the panel hasn’t been organized.[7] Regardless, McCarthy said Santos should not be in Congress.

Santos has made it clear that he won’t back down, telling reporters: “I’m never gonna shut up and go to the back of the room. I think it’s reprehensible the senator would say such a thing to me.[5] It wasn’t very Mormon of him.

0. “Romney excoriates Santos, saying he's a ‘sick puppy' who should have been ‘sitting in the back row' during Biden's address” NBC News, 8 Feb. 2023,

1. “‘You don't belong here!' Romney confronts Santos in heated clash at SOTU” Express, 8 Feb. 2023,

2. “Santos claimed Sinema told him to ‘hang in there.' She says it's a lie.” Business Insider, 10 Feb. 2023,

3. “Voices: At the State of the Union, Republicans showed who they really are – and it wasn’t pretty” Yahoo Singapore News, 8 Feb. 2023,

4. “George Santos is a ‘sociopath’, fellow New York Republican congressman says” The Guardian US, 8 Feb. 2023,

5. “George Santos reacts to SOTU clash with Mitt Romney: ‘Wasn't very Mormon of him'” New York Post , 8 Feb. 2023,

6. “George Santos is a “sociopath,” GOP lawmaker says” Axios, 8 Feb. 2023,

7. “Mitt Romney says George Santos is ‘a sick puppy'” The Week, 8 Feb. 2023,