For all those Democrats who have suddenly venerated Mitt Romney and longed for him after savaging him in 2012, your wish may soon granted: Utah Senator Orrin Hatch has reportedly told friends that he intends to retire in 2018 and Romney plans to run for his seat.
The Atlantic reports that five sources confirmed Hatch’s remarks, but Dave Hansen, a spokesperson for Hatch, demurred, stating:
Nothing has changed since The Atlantic published a carbon copy of this same story in April, likely with the same anonymous sources who were no more informed on the Senator's thinking than they seem to be now. Senator Hatch is focused on leading the Senate's efforts to pass historic tax reform, confirming strong judges to courts around the country, and continuing to fight through the gridlock to deliver results for Utah. He has not made a final decision about whether or not to seek reelection, but plans to by the end of the year.
But Hansen would not comment on remarks Hatch has made privately.
Derek Miller, the CEO of Utah’s World Trade Center, who was thinking of running for Hatch’s seat, said Romney’s prospective candidacy had been “reported to me as a ‘done deal,’” adding, “If Romney runs, I will fully support him.”
Hatch, 83, is the longest-serving Republican Senator in Washington; Utah polls reveal a substantial majority of voters want him to retire.
Politico has reported that Steve Bannon has been talking to Boyd Matheson, the head of a conservative think tank. Citizens United President David Bossie told Politico, “He is going to be the consensus conservative candidate among all the outside groups and will have a lot of the financial support that’s out there.”
This week, the Salt Lake Tribune ran an op-ed stating, “Mitt Romney should be a savior for Republicans and run for Senate. ... If he decides to run, he would be the leading voice of the Republican Party, and Utah would be his home. Utah would be lucky if Romney decides to run.”
Earlier this month, at an event hosted by the Los Angeles Times, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, gushed, “Wouldn't it be nice if [Romney] were president of the United States?"
As Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro noted of Pelosi’s attitude toward Romney in 2012:
After Romney was booed at the NAACP convention, she said, “I think it was a calculated move on his part to get booed at the NAACP convention.” She suggested that Romney was leading a “Republican assault on women’s health.” She said that it was a myth that Romney had respect for women.