Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
World Media | By June Phelps

Trump says he's encouraging Hatch to run for reelection

Trump says he's encouraging Hatch to run for reelection

President Donald Trump is reportedly working behind the scenes to convince Utah Republican Sen.

Hatch will accompany Trump on his trip to Salt Lake, to his meetings and the signing of an executive order that will reduce the size of the Bears Ears and Escalante national monuments.

But the journey west may have served a political goal for the president - to keep a political rival out of Washington.

President Trump on Monday said he wanted Sen.

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"We hope you will continue to serve your state and your country in the Senate for a long time to come", Trump said in the state Capitol, calling Hatch a "fighter", a high compliment from the president. Hatch's wife wants him to retire. Mitt Romney seemed like a very real possibility.

Trump's public posturing followed a Sunday story in Politico that outlined how the president was "going all out" to persuade Hatch to seek another term in office. In Utah, Bannon is willing to put aside his war with McConnell and embrace Hatch if it means blocking Romney, a traditional Republican who has the gravitas to rally considerable opposition to Trump from the Right.

Romney has been preparing to run for Hatch's seat on the long-held assumption that the 83-year-old would retire. If that happened, Romney would immediately become the most prominent elder statesman of the GOP. Trump frequently characterized Romney as a "failed candidate" and a "disaster" for the Republican party.

"Keep in mind that [Hatch] was the only person in Utah to stick with Trump through the campaign". Last year, he referred to Trump as a phony and a fraud during remarks at the University of Utah, and implored people not to vote for him. But the two men seemed to reconcile over frog legs at dinner in the Trump International Hotel in NY during Trump's search for a secretary of state. However, he's also criticized Trump enough to get under his skin; Romney called on Trump to stay in the Paris climate agreement, blasted his response to the violence in Charlottesville, and undermined Trump's response to the Roy Moore scandal.

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According to Politico, Romney himself has grown frustrated by the "ongoing uncertainty" about Hatch's future plans, especially after the senator encouraged him to consider run in the first place.

During a tour of the Latter-day Saints Church food services facility in Utah, Trump was asked if he was sending a message to Romney by encouraging Hatch to run for re-election.

But as we were reminded when Trump attacked Hilary Clinton again Monday morning over her treatment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there are some political rivalries President Trump just can't seem to get over.

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