WASHINGTON—Utah Sen. Mitt Romney at the State of the Union address joined the growing number of Republicans who have said embattled freshman Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., shouldn't be in Congress.
"If he had any shame at all, he wouldn't be there," Romney told reporters after the address.
Santos has admitted to embellishing parts of his personal and professional resume, but Romney said they are lies, not embellishments. To embellish, he said, is to say you got an A instead of an A-. "Lying is saying you graduated from a college you didn't even attend."
Santos lied that he graduated from college and was a volleyball star, a Wall Street resume that did not exist, his ancestry and more. He is facing the most legal scrutiny, at the local and federal levels, for his campaign finances.
Stay in the conversation on politics: Sign up for the OnPolitics newsletter
As Romney entered the House chamber Tuesday night, he told Santos he didn't belong in Congress.
"I didn't expect that he'd be standing there (in an aisle seat) trying to shake hands with every senator and the president of the United States," Romney said to reporters after the State of the Union. Given the investigations facing him, including a House Ethics complaint, "he should be sitting in the back row and staying quiet instead of parading in front of the president and people coming into the room."
The senator described Santos as "a sick puppy" for his lies.
"He shouldn't be in Congress, and they're going to go through the process and hopefully get him out," Romney said. "But he shouldn't be there and if he had any shame at all, he wouldn't be there."
State of the Union live updates:Biden tells Americans economy roaring back, spars with GOP over debt
Candy Woodall is a Congress reporter for USA TODAY. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @candynotcandace.
The Odisha crash in India has put a spotlight on safety as the government modernizes the country's extensive railway network and infrastructure.