President Trump wants Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch to abandon his plans for retirement and retain his position. Trump’s motives go beyond a desire to support a friendly politician. If Hatch retires, experts believe that Mitt Romney will swoop into his spot.
Romney is a Republican, but the wrong sort. If he gets elected to the Senate he’ll team up with the “Never Trump’s” and block the president’s agenda. Hatch is a much more attractive candidate for Trump.
“Hatch is a known entity for Trump and has been really good for the president for the most part,” said Kirk Jowers, a friend of Romney. “He knows for a fact he’s not going to get that with Romney. 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.”
Hatch and Trump have already forged a strong relationship. Trump’s hopes may be dashed, however, as sources close to Hatch say that the senator is seriously considering retirement.
“I’ll just put it this way. Sen. Hatch was one of the leading voices for the president during the entire campaign,” said Don Peay, a Trump family friend who worked on his Utah campaign. “Hatch clearly was a strong supporter of Trump from the beginning,”
Romney hasn’t hesitated to criticize the White House, while Hatch has been nothing but supportive.
“I’ll say this for ya.’ He’s been one of the best presidents I’ve served under, and the reason is he’s not afraid to make decisions. He’s not afraid to take on the big boss around here,” Hatch said a few weeks ago.