08 April, 2017
Behind the scenes, though, Hatch's remark was widely interpreted among Utah politicos as an intentional trial balloon.
Speculation that Mitt Romney may run for Senate next year if Sen.
Experts say there is no way Romney will run for the seat without Hatch's blessing.
Romney's talks with then President-elect Donald Trump about the position of secretary of state suggested Romney is willing to consider a return to politics. Back in 2012, Romney, a Mormon, won the state's Republican presidential primary with 93% of the votes.
The former MA governor and 2012 GOP presidential candidate is reportedly exploring a run in Utah, according to The Atlantic. Hatch is 83 and has not yet decided whether he will seek an eighth term in 2018.
After the comment prompted a flurry of headlines in the Utah press-catching Romney by surprise, according to two people close to him-Hatch's office moved to publicly tamp down the buzz.
Utah's senior Republican senator, first elected in 1976, hasn't been definitive about his intentions yet.
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He said Romney "would be ideal".
McConnell says he would support Hatch if he wants to run again.
There's also the fact that former Gov. Jon Huntsman, a Romney rival, said that he was interested in the seat.
'It would be the easiest Senate bid in the history of the United States of America, ' Hal Boyd, the opinion editor of the Deseret News, told the Atlantic's McKay Coppins.
"I don't think that's going to be a problem", he said.
During the presidential campaign, Romney called Trump a "fraud" and a "phony".
Trump has been imploding on both the foreign and domestic policy fronts of late, so the reemergence of one of his preeminent establishment Republican rivals is not surprising.