First it was Corker, then Flake.
Establishment Republican Senators up for re-election are quickly bowing out.
Now rumors are Orrin Hatch is headed for the exits, and you’ll never guess who wants to replace him.
The former Massachusetts Governor is the establishment’s choice to replace Hatch, though he still would have to move to Utah first.
While Hatch’s staff refused to confirm the report he’s retiring, saying instead that he’s “focused on leading the Senate’s efforts,” they did not outright deny the rumors.
Orrin Hatch will be 84 in March.
Matthew Boyle at Breitbart notes:
If Romney does end up running after Hatch bows out as expected, Utah is likely to become the site of one of the most vicious GOP senatorial primaries in history. That is because Romney’s carpet-bagging—and all his establishment ties and financial dealings and more—will become a center-stage issue, and Romney will face a meat-grinding from the right unlike anything he has ever felt before. Romney, a top Never Trumper who in 2016 vociferously attacked Trump toward the end of the GOP primaries and consistently tried to undermine the president all the way through the general election, will face a new, more sophisticated, more organized conservative movement unlike anything he faced when he ran for president in 2012. Romney tried to make nice with Trump after the election when Trump trounced Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, but most conservatives and Republicans party-wide do not forgive Romney for his transgressions against the party.
Boyle is likely not overstating how vicious the primary would be.
Boyd Matheson, Senator Mike Lee’s former Chief of Staff is widely expected to run for Hatch’s seat, if he does indeed retire.
President Trump’s general election deputy campaign manager Dave Bossie—the president of Citizens United—is quoted as saying Matheson will have the full backing of conservatives in Utah and nationally, something Romney will not enjoy this time around if he is willing to throw his name in the ring.
“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,” Bossie said of Matheson in Utah.
What do you think about Mitt Romney’s scheme to make himself “relevant” again?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments (especially if you’re from Utah!).