Published: Wed, January 03, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Romney Breaks Silence On Hatch Retirement - Raises More Questions Than Answers

Romney Breaks Silence On Hatch Retirement - Raises More Questions Than Answers

Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the longest-serving Senate Republican, announced Tuesday he will retire at the end of the year, rebuffing the pleas of President Donald Trump to seek an eighth term and paving the way for Mitt Romney to run for the seat.

Many conservatives applauded Hatch's record over his seven terms in the Senate, but at 83 years old, it is probably time for Hatch to enjoy retirement. I've always been a fighter. I was an amateur boxer in my youth, and I brought that fighting spirit with me to Washington.

It wasn't that much of an honor, though: An editorial accompanying the recognition said, among other things, "It would be good for Utah if Hatch, having finally caught the Great White Whale of tax reform, were to call it a career".

He said in a social media message, "after much prayer and discussion with family and friends I've chose to retire at the end of this term".

That dynamic sparked a recent lobbying effort by the White House to encourage Hatch to seek another term in office.

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He also has drawn the ire of Trump's former White House adviser, Steve Bannon, who recently derided Romney as a draft dodger who "hid behind" his Mormon religion to avoid serving in the Vietnam War.

An announcement from Senator Orrin G. Hatch. He's the longest-serving Republican senator in USA history. During his time on the committee, the Senate has confirmed almost 1,900 federal judges.

His retirement raises speculation that Mitt Romney, the former governor of MA with deep roots in Utah, will seek the seat.

Former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been considering a 2018 run for his seat.

Trump announced he was vastly shrinking two of Utahs sprawling national monuments, reversing decisions made by presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, at the request of the senator.

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Romney broke his silence on Facebook moments after Hatch's announcement, congratulating the retiring senator, listing his credentials and saying he and his wife wish them "all the best in their future endeavors".

Mr Trump hit back, calling Mr Romney a "failed candidate" who "choked like a dog" in the 2012 race.

The powerful Senate Finance Committee chairman played a significant role in helping Republicans pass a major tax overhaul before Christmas.

In 2000, Hatch dabbled in presidential politics himself.

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