Is Trump Waging A Hidden Campaign Against Mitt Romney?
Dec 05 2017
President Donald Trump is reportedly working behind the scenes to convince Utah Republican Sen. This "persuasion" comes via private back-channeling and, more overtly, a personal appearance Trump will make today in which the president is expected to reduce the size of Utah's Bears Ears and Grand-Staircase Escalante national monuments, a cause that Hatch has championed. He seemed to throw cold water on a potential Mitt Romney bid, only saying "he's a good man" when asked about the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.
A weekly recap of the top political stories from The Globe, sent right to your email. 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 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.
"I asked for the president's help in fixing this disaster", Hatch said.
President Trump on Monday said he wanted Sen. He feels that he still has unfinished work to do in the Senate, and his ability to shepherd through tax reform - which has always been a top goal for him - has deepened his feeling that he can continue to be an effective and powerful leader on Capitol Hill at a time when his party is deeply divided. Despite delivering a passionate anti-Trump speech during the primaries, Romney has occasionally praised Trump's work as president. And indeed, Hatch was reportedly telling friends he wouldn't.
"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. One source familiar with his thinking said Romney is "mentally there" in terms of being willing to run, but is waiting for Hatch to decide. As Politico's Alex Isenstadt wrote, the push to get Hatch to run again was "aimed in no small part at keeping the president's longtime nemesis, Mitt Romney, out of the Senate".
Trump confidants and White House aides think Romney would likely be critical of Trump in the Senate, adding his voice to a growing number of Republicans - many of whom are not running for re-election in 2018 - who are more forcefully speaking out against the President.
But Hatch is also a fan of Romney's. The victor by far: Mitt Romney.
Such concern apparently exists outside the White House as well. "He knows for a fact he's not going to get that with Romney".
"If Steve had a choice between Orrin Hatch and Mitt Romney, he would pick Hatch 10 times out of 10", an unnamed source close to Bannon told the Examiner.