Sen. Hatch to retire, opening door for possible Romney run

Orrin Hatch

But every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves.

In a video posted to Twitter, the 83-year-old Utah senator said he was "deeply grateful" to serve as a senator, saying he has "always been a fighter" and now is looking forward to spending more time with family.

When Romney opposed Roy Moore, Bannon's favored candidate in last month's special election for a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama, Bannon hit Romney with a personal attack.

Mr. Hatch's decision clears the way for the political resurrection of Mr. Romney, the former MA governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee who is now a Utah resident and is popular in the Mormon-heavy state. He is finishing up his seventh term in the upper chamber of Congress this year as the longest-serving Republican senator in history.

Romney wasn't tipping his hand on social media on Tuesday, preferring to praise Hatch for his long service.

As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Hatch played a pivotal role in passage of a massive tax reform bill last month. Romney would likely be among a small number of influential Republicans willing to take on Trump.

Romney weighed in on Hatch's retirement Tuesday afternoon, but did not address his own political future.

Hatch was first elected to the Senate in 1976.

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An announcement from Senator Orrin G. Hatch.

After the election, Romney submitted himself as a candidate to be secretary of state in an excruciatingly public interview process. Hatch is the president pro tempore of the Senate, as well as the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

Mr. Romney was unaware of Mr. Hatch's decision and of late had been operating under the assumption that the senator would run again, not even bringing up the possibility of a campaign while skiing Monday with friends in Utah.

Hatch told Brown he'd heard enough, adding that he's helped disadvantaged people "my whole stinking career".

"We are going to make this the greatest presidency we have seen, not only in generations, but maybe ever", Mr. Hatch said. During his time on the committee, the Senate has confirmed almost 1,900 federal judges.

As the president prodded Mr. Hatch to stay, voices in his home state were urging him to go.

Hatch frequently wrote religious songs and recorded music in his spare time as a way to relax from the stresses of life in Washington.

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