(CBrief) – House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) gave back better than he got from Sen. Mitt Romney after the Utah Republican ambushed him over his appointment of a controversial GOP lawmaker to committees.

McCarthy was asked by a CNN reporter to respond to comments made to the network on Wednesday by Romney, who criticized Rep. George Santos for mingling with senators and President Joe Biden following his State of the Union address. Santos is in hot water for embellishing his professional record and other personality traits.

“I didn’t expect that he’d be standing there trying to shake hands with every senator in the United States,” Romney told reporters while leaving the building. “That’s a given. And given the fact that he’s under ethics investigation, he should be sitting in the back row and staying quiet instead of parading in front of the president and the people coming into the room.”

“If you look at like he said, he says he knows that he embellished his record. Look, embellishing is saying you got an A when he had an A-minus. Lying is saying you graduated from a college you didn’t even attend. He shouldn’t be in Congress,” he continued. “And they’re going to go through the process and hopefully get him out but he shouldn’t be there.”

Romney was then asked if he was disappointed that McCarthy was sticking by Santos, to which he replied, “yes.”

Per the Western Journal, Romney never called on Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California to resign after he was outed as having had a sexual relationship with a suspected Chinese spy. The outlet also noted that Romney never called on Democratic Senate colleague Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut to step down after lying about serving in Vietnam; he did not.

When CNN confronted McCarthy about the Utah Republican’s comments, the Speaker did not take the bait but instead responded, “Romney should be disappointed that Swalwell hasn’t resigned.”