President Donald Trump on Monday indicated that he would support Sen.
Although Trump aides attributed the president's efforts to his bond with Hatch, those close to Romney believe the president's primary motivation is to keep Romney, whom he publicly sparred with throughout the 2016 campaign, from entering the Senate, according to Politico.
However, Utah Republican House Speaker Greg Hughes maintained Romney "could be a great ally of the president, but, as you well know, they're very different people and have very different personalities".
According to Politico, Romney himself has grown frustrated by the "ongoing uncertainty" about Hatch's future plans, especially after the senator encouraged him to consider run in the first place.
Hatch, 83, has made noises about retiring from the Senate seat he has held since 1977. "He's not afraid to take on the big boss around here", Hatch said. And indeed, Hatch was reportedly telling friends he wouldn't.
The report stated in more recent times, Hatch also played a pivotal role in passing Trump's tax reform bill through the Senate. Either way, Trump-not to mention his former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who is allegedly considering a Hatch endorsement-may not have much of a choice in the matter.
Hatch, the president pro tem of the Senate, recently tweeted that Trump is the best president he has served under in the line of succession. "Morally different universes", Romney tweeted, following up with a Facebook post urging Trump to "act now for the good of the country". Several were teenagers at the time.
After Trump was elected, Romney was among the candidates interviewed for secretary of state but he has remained critical of the president on social media.
Trump called Hatch a "fighter" during a speech at the Utah State Capitol later Monday. In August, Romney demanded Trump apologize for saying that both sides were to blame for violence at a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.