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Romney: Trump rallies pushing big lie are entertaining but not real

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By Chandelis Duster, CNN

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney on Sunday called on members of his party to “move on” from Donald Trump’s 2020 election lies, equating the former President’s return to rally-style events to wrestling entertainment as Trump goes after those who defied him.

“Well, I do think it’s important for each person to speak the truth and to make clear that the ‘Big Lie’ is exactly that,” the Utah Republican told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” when asked if more Republicans should speak out against election lies.

“But I also think, frankly, Jake, that here in the US, there’s a growing recognition that this is a bit like WWF. That it’s entertaining, but it’s not real. And I know people want to say, yeah, they believe in the ‘Big Lie’ in some cases, but I think people recognize that it’s a lot of show, and bombast. But it’s going nowhere. The election is over. It was fair … let’s move on.”

Sports entertainment company World Wrestling Entertainment was known as World Wrestling Federation Entertainment until 2002 when it dropped the “F” from its name.

During a rally in Ohio Saturday, Trump railed against Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him in January, and repeated lies that the 2020 election was stolen from him without evidence. Gonzalez, who has been censured by Ohio Republican Party leaders and faced calls for his resignation over his impeachment vote, is facing a primary challenge from Max Miller, a former Trump administration official and campaign aide who has the former President’s endorsement.

Romney, the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee, is a frequent critic of Trump and one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict the 45th President during his second impeachment trial, and the only Republican senator who found him guilty in his first impeachment trial.

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CNN’s Gabby Orr contributed to this report.

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