During Trump’s first impeachment trial last year, Romney became the first senator in U.S. history to vote to convict a president from his own party. The move drew widespread criticism from fellow Republicans and, of course, Trump himself.
Caroline Kennedy, who is President John F. Kennedy’s daughter and a former U.S. ambassador to Japan, praised the senator for reminding Americans “that our democracy depends on the courage, conscience and character of our elected officials.”
“Senator Romney’s commitment to our Constitution makes him a worthy successor to the senators who inspired my father to write ‘Profiles in Courage,’” she said in a statement.
Romney said he was “very appreciative of the honor, but also humbled by it.”
“What I’ve found throughout life is doing those things which you know are right, which respond to the promptings of your conscience, allows you to have a greater degree of happiness and satisfaction than if you just do things to try and get ahead,” he told “Today” in an interview. “Whether or not you get ahead is not entirely up to you, but whether or not you live by your conscience is up to you.”
The Profile in Courage Award was created in 1989 to recognize public officials “whose actions demonstrate the qualities of politically courageous leadership.” It takes its name from President Kennedy’s 1956 book describing acts of bravery and integrity by eight U.S. senators.
Winners are selected annually by a bipartisan committee. Past recipients include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and former presidents Barack Obama and George H.W. Bush.