Utah could be Steve Bannon's next battleground, especially if Mitt Romney runs

03 January, 2018, 02:09 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah is the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.                       unknown

On Tuesday afternoon, former MA governor and one-time presidential nominee Mitt Romney made a minor change to his Twitter bio that may suggest he's running to fill Sen. His retirement announcement comes shortly after the GOP tax plan was signed into law. Last month Hatch lashed out at former White House adviser Steve Bannon for his attack on Romney and the Mormon Church.

Romney would likely be among a small number of influential Republicans willing to take on Trump.

He was not a candidate for political office a year ago when he pilloried Mr Trump.

Romney pilloried Trump in a March 2016 speech, calling him a "phony" and "a fraud".

Zwick did not confirm Romney would enter the race, but said "of all the people who can run, Mitt will represent and honor the legacy of Sen".

The former private equity manager kept a low profile after his unsuccessful White House bid.

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Hatch, 83, was under heavy pressure from Trump to seek re-election and block Romney, who has been sharply critical of the president. The path had cleared for the 2012 Republican presidential nominee and saviour of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics to return to the public stage. The then-president-elect grinned like the Cheshire cat, while Mr Romney awkwardly turned to the camera, brow furrowed in seeming discomfort. Will he speak out against the president, as he once did?

If Hatch had opted to stay in the Senate, he could have faced a formidable challenge from a crop of ambitious Utah Republicans.

But he maintained his connection to the Republican party. Orrin Hatch of Utah says he will not seek re-election after serving more than 40 years in the Senate, opening the door for former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to run for his seat.

During an event last month at the Utah Capitol where Trump celebrated the administration's decision to shrink the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, Trump called Hatch "a true fighter" and said he hoped the Republican would continue to serve "in the Senate for a very long time to come".

"That's why, after much prayer and discussion with family and friends, I've chose to retire at the end of this term".

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