Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Trump backs Sen. Hatch for eighth term in bid to block Romney

President Trump stopped to speak to reporters as he left the White House Monday for Utah. He's taking Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch with him on board Air Force One signaling he'd rather see Hatch seek re-election than Mitt Romney run for Hatch's seat Trump backs Sen. Hatch for eighth term in bid to block Romney
Patty Aguilar | 06 December, 2017, 00:15

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. Hatch, at the time, said he would consider stepping down if the former governor were willing to make a bid for the seat, according to reports. "I don't know that he knows what he's going to get with Romney, but it's not going to be what he's got with Hatch", Jowers reportedly said. They also said both politicians are expected to meet Mormon leaders immediately after reaching Utah, and then will proceed to the state capitol where Trump will reportedly sign the executive order to reduce the size of Utah's Bears Ears and Grand-Staircase Escalante national monuments. Orrin Hatch to run for an eighth term in 2018.

Trump called Hatch "a very special man" on Monday. But suddenly backed by Trump, Hatch seems to be leaning in another direction.

The president's motives aren't hard to discern: retaining Hatch would allow Trump to keep an ally close while spurning Romney, his onetime presidential primary opponent who remains a vocal critic, and who would in theory prove a much less obliging Congressman.

Romney was planning to run for the position held by Hatch, on the assumption the senator would retire, according to a report by Politico.

Mitt Romney famously got dinner at Jean Georges restaurant in New York with President-elect Donald Trump as Trump was considering Romney to be his secretary of state

Romney has been public about his disagreements with Trump and is a key figure in the Never Trump movement, while Hatch was an early supporter of Trump during the 2016 campaign and has since defended Trump's presidency. The former MA governor's criticisms sparked rumors that he and a handful of never-Trumpers would seek to oust Trump at the Republican National Convention.

Romney has called out Trump several times. Rex Tillerson. Perhaps as a reaction to that particular humiliation, Romney has carried on his criticism of Trump, saying that the White House's response to the violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville "caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn", and bashing Trump for pulling out of the Paris climate agreement.

Trump's push to stop Romney's prospective Senate bid puts him in line with former White House strategist, Steve Bannon, according to a person familiar with discussions between the president and the Breitbart News head.

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