President Trump went to Utah on Monday. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to run for re-election in Utah, causing some to speculate the president wants to block former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney from seeking election for the seat, Politico reported Sunday.
"Hatch is a known entity for Trump and has been really good for the president for the most part", Kirk Jowers, former chairman and general counsel for Romney's political action committee, told Politico. While he and Hatch toured a Salt Lake City food pantry alongside leaders of the Church of Latter Day Saints, Trump sidestepped questions of whether he was trying to block Romney from running, saying only "He's a good man".
Amidst a sea of Congressional Republicans increasingly frustrated with the president, Hatch has consistently remained a Trump loyalist ever since the 2016 presidential campaign. "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. "He's not afraid to take on the big boss around here".
But according to Politico, it's not all about Hatch's unwavering support. Romney and Hatch are Mormons. Last year, he referred to Trump as a phony and a fraud during remarks at the University of Utah, and implored people not to vote for him. Their suspicions are warranted: Trump has sounded off to friends about how he doesn't like the idea of a Senator Romney, Politico reports.
ABC News has reached out to a Romney spokesperson for comment but has not received a response.
Hatch, the second senator to endorse Trump during the presidential campaign, has said he's running again but has not announced a final decision.
"Senator Hatch is one of the most effective legislators of all time and has worked very effectively with President Trump's administration", he continued. Trump previously said he is doing it for Hatch.
But Hatch is also a fan of Romney's. But according to Politico, the president has launched a one-man campaign to urge Hatch to run for re-election, which has been widely read as a slight to his former political foe, Mitt Romney. The 83-year-old Republican had even blessed Romney as his "perfect" replacement.