Mitt Romney is running for United States Senate — at least according to Utah’s governor, Gary Herbert.
Republicans in his home state of Utah had been “growing increasingly anxious” waiting for Romney to announce whether he planned to run for Sen. Orrin Hatch’s seat, which Hatch plans to relinquish after his current term ends in 2019, so they were pestering Romney’s close friends and family to get a definitive decision.
And that answer came on Sunday.
Utah Governor Herbert told The New York Times that he was among the top pesterers. “Let’s not be coy about this,” he says he told a Romney friend. If he’s going to run, let’s go. If not, we need to find somebody else to run, and there’s people that have been trying to queue up for the opportunity.”
Romney answered Herbert in a text, Hebert says. It read, simply, “I’m running.”
If his electronic communications didn’t confirm his plans, however, his schedule for this week certainly does. Romney is expected to attend two high-profile events — a meeting of the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce and a local Utah tech conference — something the private citizen Romney is not typically interested in.
When Senator Hatch declared his retirement several weeks ago, most pundits thought Romney would jump into the race. After all, Hatch has said several times that he wouldn’t leave the Senate seat he held for three decades in the hands of just anyone. He openly held Romney to be his successor, even though at around 70 years of age, Romney isn’t that much younger than Hatch.
This news, however, will bewilder the Trump administration. Romney is no friend to the president, and despite a series of dinners and peace offers, Trump has never really warmed to Romney either. But President Trump may not be able to stand in Romney’s way. Utah is very much an independent Republican state, and Hatch enjoys a record-breaking 80% approval among his constituents. Mitt Romney is still very popular within the state.
Most recently Romney has clashed with trump over his purported ‘s***hole’ comments.
Mitt Romney on Monday took Trump to task for the president’s “shithole” comment, writing on Twitter on Martin Luther King Jr. Day that an immigrant’s “nation of origin is as irrelevant as their race.”
“The poverty of an aspiring immigrant’s nation of origin is as irrelevant as their race. The sentiment attributed to POTUS is inconsistent w/ America’s history and antithetical to American values,” wrote the 2012 GOP presidential nominee. “May our memory of Dr. King buoy our hope for unity, greatness, & ‘charity for all.’”
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