Last week, amid the chaotic upheaval caused by Donald Trump's Twitter endorsement of three anti-Muslim videos created by an ultranationalist British group, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch told reporters that Trump was "one of the best presidents I've ever served under", adding, "the reason is he's not afraid to make decisions".
"There's widespread concern within the White House that Romney in the Senate could make Trump's life hard", reported Politico's Alex Isenstadt, noting Romney's vociferous condemnations of Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. But according to Politico, the president has launched a one-man campaign to urge Hatch to run for re-election, which has been widely read as a slight to his former political foe, Mitt Romney.
They insist Romney, who relocated to Utah after losing the 2012 presidential election, would consider running only if Hatch retires, according to two people close to Romney.
In September, UtahPolicy.com similarly reported that Romney is planning to run for Senate pending Hatch's retirement.
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.
Romney has been considering a Senate run for months, but he may only seek for the GOP nomination if Hatch declines to run for another term. "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. But suddenly backed by Trump, Hatch seems to be leaning in another direction.
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Also, Trump's former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, is contemplating endorsing Hatch to block Romney, the Washington Examiner reported Sunday.
Trump has mostly tried to sway Hatch behind the scenes.
Hatch joined Trump on a visit Monday to Salt Lake City.
Trump called Hatch "a very special man" on Monday.
In August, after Trump said there was blame on both sides for violence stemming from a rally of white supremacists and Nazi sympathizers in Charlottesville, West Virginia, Romney said the president needed to apologize. The other opposes racism and bigotry. Later, when Trump assumed office, he floated Romney as a potential candidate for Secretary of State, but snubbed him in favor of former Exxon C.E.O.