Trump urging longest-serving Republican senator to run for re-election

Violet Powell
December 5, 2017

President Donald Trump wants Republican Sen.

There's been less coverage of Trump's affinity for Senator Hatch, but it's similarly easy to understand.

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.

A source with knowledge of the matter told ABC News that "while it may be entirely true that Trump dislikes Mitt, if there's anyone who can bridge the divide, it's Orrin".

Well, Romney can hardly be furious.

After originally disparaging Trump in more traditional political-speak, Romney eventually dropped the gloves.

Another source with knowledge of Trump's conversations with Hatch also downplayed the idea that the President's interest in the race had anything to do with Romney.

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A spokesman for Hatch says the senator plans to announce a final decision by the end of the year.

When asked if he was sending a message to Romney, who was an outspoken critic of Trump during the 2016 campaign, that he doesn't want him to run, Trump paused and said, "He's a good man. Mitt's a good man".

But as we were reminded when Trump attacked Hilary Clinton again Monday morning over her treatment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there are some political rivalries President Trump just can't seem to get over. During their event Monday at the Utah State Capitol, Trump said he hoped the Utahn would stay in the Senate "for a very long time to come". Romney has reportedly been gearing up for a run, but now Hatch is dragging his feet - and Trump is encouraging him to run for an eighth term.

On whether Trump is in Utah as a subtle knock on Romney, the official said Romney was "not a focus" of Monday's trip.

According to the Washington Examiner, Bannon is considering endorsing Hatch - a Mitch McConnell loyalist who's been in D.C. since 1976 - though he can't stop declaring "war" on the GOP Establishment.

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. 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. After the Access Hollywood tape, Hatch said, "I'm not going to judge him by mistakes he made a decade before or more". "Mitt Romney has neither opened the door nor closed it". "He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat", he added.

To a man who prioritizes loyalty above all, that fact would not go unnoticed.

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