Mitt Romney is no ally of Donald Trump or conservatives.
He worked relentlessly to torpedo Trump’s chances of victory during the presidential campaign.
And now he may be about to make a move that would create a massive headache for Trump.
There are rumblings around Washington that Utah Senator Orrin Hatch may retire rather than run for re-election in 2018.
Romney is the rumored candidate to run for his seat.
The Atlantic reports:
“Republican leaders and high-powered donors in Utah are waging a quiet but concerted campaign to convince 83-year-old incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch not to seek reelection next year—and now, they may have found a successor. Mitt Romney, the one-time presidential nominee and leading Trump critic, is exploring a run for Hatch’s Senate seat.
According to six sources familiar with the situation, Romney has spent recent weeks actively discussing a potential 2018 Senate bid with a range of high-level Republicans in both Utah and Washington, and has privately signaled a growing interest in the idea. Romney, though, has made clear he would not pursue the seat without Hatch’s blessing.
Hatch, who has served in the Senate for more than four decades, seemed to signal a willingness to step aside during an interview last week with National Journal’s Alex Rogers. “If I could get a really outstanding person to run for my position, I might very well consider [retiring],” Hatch said, adding, “Mitt Romney would be perfect.”
Romney has indicated he would be open to a Senate bid.
The Desert News reported in February:
“Romney, who took over Salt Lake City’s Winter Games amid an international bribery scandal and helped make the two-week event one of the most successful Olympics ever, hinted he may not be done with politics yet.
“I don’t have any predictions on what I might do. I’m not going to open a door and I’m not going to close a door. All doors are open,” Romney said after mentioning the 2018 Senate race.”
During the campaign, Romney smeared Trump with outrageous personal attacks.
And he has not backed off from his views of Trump since then.
So if he were to run, it would be as an anti-Trump Republican.
The Atlantic also reports:
“During the 2016 campaign, Romney was among the most high-profile—and persistent—Republican critics of Trump, and one of the few national figures in the party who refused to support him until the end. Though his anti-Trump credentials were tarnished by his post-election pursuit of the secretary of state post, sources who have discussed it with Romney say his views on Trump have not changed—and if he did enter the Senate, he would not be a reliable ally to the White House. “It would be an opportunity for Mitt to represent the Utah style of Republicanism … and present a strong challenge to the president,” said one senior Republican.”
Romney would quickly claim the mantle of establishment champion if he entered the Senate.
It’s already clear he would not run for office to help Trump enact his agenda.
Romney is seeking a Senate seat to stop Trump from converting into law the campaign promises that won him the election.