Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch to retire; Romney could run

Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch to retire; Romney could run

Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch to retire; Romney could run

Orrin Hatch, the second-longest serving current US senator, plans to retire at the end of his current term.

I join the people of Utah in thanking my friend, Senator Orrin Hatch for his more than forty years of service to our great state and nation.

In his retirement announcement, Mr. Hatch dwelled on his long record, which includes popular, bipartisan initiatives like the Children's Health Insurance Program and the Americans With Disabilities Act, as well as more partisan achievements, like his prominent role in the confirmation of Supreme Court justices and his authorship of last month's tax law, which passed without a Democratic vote. "That's why after much prayer and discussion with family and friends, I've made a decision to retire at the end of this term".

"It would be hard to defeat Mitt Romney if he were running here", said David Hansen, a longtime Utah Republican strategist and chairman of Mr. Hatch's political organization.

Local media said U.S. President Donald Trump had lobbied Hatch to stay in the Senate in a bid to block Romney from running.

Mr Romney has been quiet about his plans and views of late.

Romney, who sought the GOP nomination in 2008 and got it in 2012, also laid into Trump during that speech for "the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third-grade theatrics".

Romney has until March 15 to file for Hatch's seat. "You went to France to be a missionary while guys were dying in rice paddies in Vietnam".

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Hatch's leadership will be greatly missed.

Hatch called Bannon's attack "disappointing and unjustified" and said Romney "has sought every opportunity" to serve the country.

In a video announcement he posted online, Hatch reflected on his time as an amateur boxer in his youth as he explained his desire to step down early next year. Sherrod Brown of OH after Brown said Republican tax cuts were aimed at helping the rich.

After Hatch helped spearhead the passage of the GOP's tax reform bill last month, he effusively praised Trump at a White House celebration, calling him "a heck of a leader" and predicting that his presidency would be "the greatest. not only in generations, but maybe ever". As the two senators talked over each other, Hatch said he was exhausted of Democrats' "bull crap".

In 2000, Hatch dabbled in presidential politics himself.

"The Utah Republican Party is quite conservative", said Phill Wright, a member of the state Republican central committee and a former party vice chairman.

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