Trump Urging Hatch to Run Again

05 December, 2017, 02:24 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • Trump moves to block Romney from the Senate

Asked whether he was encouraging Hatch, who is the Senate president pro tempore and chairs its powerful Finance Committee, to run for re-election, Trump said "Yes".

According to the Washington Examiner, former Trump adviser and Breitbart chairman Steve Bannon - who was previously recruiting far-right candidates to challenge Hatch in a primary - is now considering endorsing the incumbent senator for re-election.

Trump also encouraged Hatch to seek re-election in March, before the prospect of Romney's potential Senate run had even cropped up.

Trump will travel to Salt Lake City, Utah, Monday for official business, to meet with leaders of the Church of Latter Day Saints and give a speech at the state capitol, which Politico suggests is a political move to encourage Hatch to stay in the Senate.

However, Utah Republican House Speaker Greg Hughes maintained Romney "could be a great ally of the president, but, as you well know, they're very different people and have very different personalities".

Amidst a sea of Congressional Republicans increasingly frustrated with the president, Hatch has consistently remained a Trump loyalist ever since the 2016 presidential campaign. Their suspicions are warranted: Trump has sounded off to friends about how he doesn't like the idea of a Senator Romney, Politico reports. "He's not afraid to take on the big boss around here".

But the president's reciprocal strong public support for Hatch is not just a vote of confidence in the Utah senator.

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The president, referring to Romney, replied: "He's a good man".

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

Romney has been preparing to run for Hatch's seat on the long-held assumption that the 83-year-old would retire, according to Politico.

Trump called Hatch in October to and requested he run again, sources familiar with the call told Politico.

"If I could get a really outstanding person to run for my position, I might very well consider [retiring]", Hatch said, adding, "Mitt Romney would be ideal".

Trump has mostly tried to sway Hatch behind the scenes. "He never uttered a negatively critical word about Trump", the source said.

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