Trump Working Overtime to Block Romney from the Senate

Lesser of two evils Bannon considers backing Orrin Hatch in Utah to block Mitt Romney

Earlier this year 83-year-old Utah Senator Orrin Hatch said he'd consider retiring in 2018 if he could find someone "really outstanding" to run for his seat, and called Romney "perfect" for the position. "He's not afraid to take on the big mouths around here". While many Republican senators disdain the president - and some even criticize him publicly - the Utah senator speaks positively about Trump.

Romney has reportedly been mulling a Senate bid in Utah for some time, taking steps after the new year and last summer to up his presence in the Utah political scene. "I don't know that he knows what he's going to get with Romney, but it's not going to be what he's got with Hatch", Jowers said.

It's widely rumored that 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney will run for the seat if Hatch decides to retire.

Trump will travel to Salt Lake City, Utah, Monday for official business, to meet with leaders of the Church of Latter Day Saints and give a speech at the state capitol, which Politico suggests is a political move to encourage Hatch to stay in the Senate.

"We hope you continue to serve your state and your country in the Senate for a very long time", Trump said.

"Senator Hatch is one of the most effective legislators of all time and has worked very effectively with President Trump's administration", he continued. But when the press followed up with a question about whether Trump's enthusiasm for Hatch was meant to deter Romney, he demurred, replying, "He's a good man. Mitt's a good man".

Trump's opposition to Senator Romney isn't that surprising.

Report: Bannon mulling backing Orrin Hatch to keep Mitt Romney out of the Utah Senate race

As Politico notes, the public display of affection isn't only about blocking Romney.

Such concern apparently exists outside the White House as well.

Trump is not hindered by ideological considerations, but his former strategist is.

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.

"Whether Romney would maintain his critiques if he landed in Washington is a matter of some debate; sources close to him told the Atlantic that he would consider toning it down, "at least at first", and would focus instead on "[using] his status as an elder statesman in the G.O.P.to rally congressional Republicans around conservative legislative initiatives".

According to the Washington Examiner, former Trump adviser and Breitbart chairman Steve Bannon - who was previously recruiting far-right candidates to challenge Hatch in a primary - is now considering endorsing the incumbent senator for re-election.

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