Chris Matthews said Sen. Mitt Romney’s decision to buck his Republican peers elicited feelings of political romance that he hasn’t felt in years.

The host of MSNBC’s “Hardball” was all smiles Wednesday after Mr. Romney voted as the lone Republican to convict President Trump of abuse of power, one of two articles of impeachment passed in the House.

“I want to say something about [Mr. Romney] when I get back in a minute,” Matthews told his audience before a commercial break. “I was romantic about politics for a couple minutes again today like I used to be. Romance in politics means believing in guts.”

The comment was reminiscent of Mr. Matthews’ Feb. 12, 2008, comments about then-presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama and his string of primary wins at the time.

“I have to tell you, you know, it’s part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama’s speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often,” Mr. Matthews said.

Wednesday’s commentary included the belief that Mr. Romney showed courage by rejecting the Republican “pack.”

“It takes no courage to hide in a pack, to speak in unison with those around you,” Mr. Matthews said of the Utah Republican. “What takes bravery, what merits regard, is the voice that speaks out and tells the brave truth through the sad chorus of silence and submission.”

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