Sen. Orrin Hatch hasn’t made a final decision about whether he’ll run for reelection, but he’s adamant about one thing: Mitt Romney is not running for his Senate seat.
On Wednesday the website UtahPolicy floated the likelihood that the 83-year old Utah Republican would retire and Romney would run to replace him. That prompted pushback from the GOP’s most senior senator, who is also in the line of presidential succession.
"I’ve talked to Mitt Romney. He’s not going to run for this seat. I would be glad for him if he would," Hatch told reporters.
Asked if Romney is not running because Hatch will run for an eighth term, Hatch responded: "No. I’ve chatted with Mitt, and he’s not going to run for the Senate."
Hatch has been raising money, suggesting he may run again. Whatever he decides, the Senate Finance Committee chairman likely won’t make a move until the GOP sorts out its big-ticket items of health care and tax reform. The longtime senator would lose some of his influence over those policies if he were to announce retirement now.