Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump Urging Hatch to Run Again

Trump Urging Hatch to Run Again

President Trump is traveling to Utah Monday on official business, but the backstory of his visit is preventing Mitt Romney running for Senate, according to Politico.

But the senator's office insists it's not to block former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney from getting into the race.

Trump's coziness with Orrin Hatch and the senator's refusal to rule out a re-election bid is frustrating Romney allies, who want the former Never Trump leader to go to Washington D.C.

Trump called Hatch in October to and requested he run again, sources familiar with the call told Politico. Hatch, who in 2012 said he would not run again, has since signaled that he is interested in doing so but has not made a final decision.

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Romney, 70, is viewed as a virtual lock to win if he chooses to run for the Senate seat (and Hatch doesn't), with hypothetical polls showing he'd beat his potential Democratic opponent in the heavily Republican, heavily Mormon state by an increasingly huge margin.

The former MA governor was reportedly seriously considering running for Senate in his new home state of Utah, under the condition that the state's longtime senator, Orrin Hatch, decided not to run for re-election in 2018. Their suspicions are warranted: Trump has sounded off to friends about how he doesn't like the idea of a Senator Romney, Politico reports.

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon is reportedly considering endorsing an eighth term by Sen.

"If Steve had a choice between Orrin Hatch and Mitt Romney, he would pick Hatch 10 times out of 10", the Examiner reported, citing a source close to Bannon. Asked by reporters whether he had encouraged Hatch to seek re-election, Trump answered, "Yes".

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"You are a true fighter, Orrin, I have to say", Trump said Monday during his announcement in Salt Lake City rolling back the scale of two national monuments in Utah.

"There's widespread concern within the White House that Romney in the Senate could make Trump's life hard", reported Politico's Alex Isenstadt, noting Romney's vociferous condemnations of Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

"Over the past year the President has encouraged Senator Hatch to consider running for re-election a number of times, because of his leadership position and ability to advance their shared Republican agenda", Hatch spokesman Matt Whitlock said in a statement to ABC News. John McCain, R-Ariz., is gravely ill, Romney would also become the de facto head of the non-Trump republicans - although not necessarily the anti-Trump Republicans. Last year, he referred to Trump as a phony and a fraud during remarks at the University of Utah, and implored people not to vote for him.

After Trump was elected, Romney was among the candidates interviewed for secretary of state but he has remained critical of the president on social media.

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