Published: Wed, January 03, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Romney, Pawlenty, Bachmann revive 2012 memories with possible Senate runs

Romney, Pawlenty, Bachmann revive 2012 memories with possible Senate runs

Hatch's retirement comes after fellow GOP senators Jeff Flake and Bob Corker announced they also would not seek another term.

"When the president visited Utah last month, he said I was a fighter". Ive always been a fighter. "But every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves." said Hatch in the video.

"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. But Hatch, who emerged as one of the presidents most avid loyalists in the Senate, chose to retire after discussing the matter with his family over the holidays. Although I will miss serving you in the Senate, I look forward to spending more time with family, especially my sweet wife Elaine, whose unwavering love and support made all of this possible.

That dynamic sparked a recent lobbying effort by the White House to encourage Hatch to seek another term in office.

The senator returned the favor at the White House when Trump signed the tax measure, calling him "one heck of a leader".

Romney, the former MA governor who now lives in Utah, has been eyeing a Senate run, but President Donald Trump had encouraged Hatch to seek re-election.

In the statement announcing his decision to retire, Hatch cited work helping create the Americans with Disabilities Act, expanding children's health insurance and expanding use of generic drugs.

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

Hatch's decision not to pursue re-election is bound to shake up Utah state politics, and it is also likely to generate intrigue over the rumors that Mitt Romney is thinking about running to take his place.

"Congratulations to Senator Orrin Hatch on an absolutely incredible career".

Romney thanked Hatch in a statement on Facebook and said Hatch "has represented the interests of Utah with distinction and honour".

For months, Hatch's political future has been on the minds of Republican strategists and officials, many of whom expected him to step down at some at some point soon after the tax bill was completed.

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