Mitt Romney

McConnell Urges Trump to Get Behind Romney

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told the New York Times that President Trump “should rally behind the Senate candidacy of Mitt Romney despite his blistering criticism in 2016, arguing that Mr. Romney’s potent bid was an illustration of the Republican Party’s improving fortunes entering a challenging midterm campaign.”

Said McConnell: “I can’t imagine that he’s not. We don’t want to lose the seat, and this looks like a pretty formidable candidate.”

Utah GOP Chairman Slams Mitt Romney

Utah Republican Party chairman Rob Anderson blasted Mitt Romney’s anticipated Senate run in an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, hitting him for “essentially doing what Hillary Clinton did in New York” — campaigning in a state he hasn’t spent much time in.

Said Anderson: “I think he’s keeping out candidates that I think would be a better fit for Utah because, let’s face it, Mitt Romney doesn’t live here, his kids weren’t born here, he doesn’t shop here.”

Romney Told Utah Governor He’s Running

The New York Times reports Mitt Romney sent word to Utah Gary Herbert (R) about the state’s open Senate seat in November’s elections: “I’m running.”

“His yet-to-be-declared candidacy is already highlighting the enduring fractures over President Trump in this heavily Mormon state, where voters have long been uneasy with Mr. Trump’s conduct. At issue is whether Mr. Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, should be an overt check on the president, and even use a Senate platform to mount his own White House comeback, or act as an ally and retain access to Mr. Trump the way Mr. Hatch has done.”

Will Bannon Try to Bump Romney?

Callum Borchers: “The race to succeed Hatch in Utah could represent an irresistible challenge for Bannon, especially if Mitt Romney runs. As I have noted before, Romney and Breitbart News were very friendly in 2012, when the former Massachusetts governor was the GOP presidential nominee. But since Romney lost to Barack Obama — an event that roughly coincided with Bannon assuming control of Breitbart — Romney has become a symbol of the political establishment Breitbart reviles.”

Axios: Romney changes Twitter location to Utah.

Run, Mitt, Run

Dana Millbank: “The 2012 Republican presidential nominee has been reluctant to announce a primary challenge to Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, the longest-serving Republican senator in history. But America needs Romney to step up, to restore dignity to the Senate — and to save the country from the embarrassment Hatch has become.”

“Hatch, long the picture of conservative rectitude, was once a conscientious legislator, even partnering with Ted Kennedy when he thought poor kids were getting a raw deal. But Hatch, the Senate president pro tempore, has undergone a grotesque transformation this year, his 84th on earth and 42nd in the Senate. He has become chief enabler of and cheerleader for President Trump.”

Has Trump Persuaded Orrin Hatch to Block Romney?

McKay Coppins: “After months of quietly laying the groundwork for his own retirement, the 83-year-old Utah senator has signaled to Republican allies in recent weeks that he’s having second thoughts about leaving office when his term ends next year. Interviews with 10 people familiar with the situation—some of whom requested anonymity to speak candidly—suggest that President Trump’s efforts to convince Hatch to seek reelection have influenced the senator’s thinking.”

“This perceived about-face by the seven-term senator has enraged loyalists to Mitt Romney, who had been planning to run for Hatch’s seat (at the senator’s urging no, less). Meanwhile, many Utah Republicans have grown impatient and aggravated with Hatch as he repeatedly postpones announcing his reelection decision.”

How Trump Works to Undermine Mitt Romney

Washington Post: “Before Ronna Romney McDaniel took over as Republican National Committee chairwoman earlier this year, President Trump had a request: Would she be willing to stop using her middle name publicly? Though she had used her maiden name for years in Michigan, where her grandfather had been governor, McDaniel dropped ‘Romney’ from most official party communications and has rarely used it since.”

“The moment offers a window on Trump’s complicated and often tense relationship with Mitt Romney.”

“Those tensions were on display again this week, when White House aides scripted a trip to Utah with a single political goal in mind: to convince Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to run for reelection and thwart Romney from mounting his own bid for the seat, according to a senior White House official involved in the preparations.”

Bannon Bashes Romney Over His Religion

“Steve Bannon bashed Mitt Romney for, as he put it, hiding behind his religion to avoid getting drafted into the Vietnam War,” CNN reports.

Said Bannon: “Mitt, here’s how it is, brother: The college deferments, we can debate that — but you hid behind your religion. You went to France to be a missionary while guys were dying in rice paddies in Vietnam.”

First Read: “After Bannon’s vicious attack on Romney and his sons, how does Romney – who’s a competitive guy – respond? Does he think about potentially challenging Trump in 2020? Does he consider running for the Senate, even with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) looking like he’s gearing up for another term? Or does Romney back down?”

“Remember, Romney and Trump are pretty much the polar opposites of the Republican Party. And if 2020 started tomorrow, Trump would probably get a primary challenge from someone like a Romney or a Flake or a John Kasich.”

Trump Moves to Block Romney from Senate

President Trump “is going all out to persuade seven-term Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch to seek reelection — a push aimed in no small part at keeping the president’s longtime nemesis, Mitt Romney, out of the Senate. Romney has been preparing to run for Hatch’s seat on the long-held assumption that the 83-year-old would retire,” Politico reports.

“Yet Hatch, the longest-serving Republican senator in history, is now refusing to rule out another campaign — a circumstance Romney’s infuriated inner circle blames squarely on the president. Their suspicions are warranted: Trump has sounded off to friends about how he doesn’t like the idea of a Senator Romney.”

Hatch Tells Friends He Intends to Retire

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) “has privately told allies in Utah that he is planning to retire at the end of his term next year, and if he does, Mitt Romney intends to run for his seat,” The Atlantic reports.

“Sources close to both men said plans have already been set in motion for Hatch to retire and for Romney to run, but they cautioned that the timing of the announcements has not yet been finalized, and that either man could still change his mind. They spoke on condition of anonymity, because the plans are not yet public, and the subject is sensitive to Hatch.”

Romney Gearing Up for Possible Senate Bid

Sources tell UtahPolicy.com that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is preparing to run for Senate in 2018 if Sen. Orrin Hatch decides to retire.

“Hatch’s reticence to make a definitive announcement is preventing other candidates from getting in the race, but Romney has the financial resources to mount a campaign no matter when Hatch decides.”

Romney Stokes Speculation He’ll Run Again

“Mitt Romney is once again testing his political power — critiquing President Donald Trump, raising money and campaigning for fellow Republicans, and not ruling out another run for office for himself,” Politico reports.

“Romney’s return comes as senior Republicans express profound unease with the direction of Trump’s presidency and worry it will cost them dearly in the 2018 midterms. With Trump’s approval ratings at historic lows and his agenda in tatters, GOP leaders are in desperate search of big-name surrogates able to motivate increasingly despondent Republican voters — a profile that Romney, a mainstream figure who articulates the party’s traditional views, just may fit.”