The former MA governor was reportedly seriously considering running for Senate in his new home state of Utah, under the condition that the state's longtime senator, Orrin Hatch, decided not to run for re-election in 2018.
Romney has been preparing to run for Hatch's seat on the long-held assumption that the 83-year-old would retire, according to Politico. "He's not afraid to take on the big boss around here", Hatch said.
Politico reported Sunday that Trump is going all out to persuade Hatch to seek re-election in no small part to prevent his longtime nemesis, Romney, from winning the seat.More news: Target Lets You Pay With New 'Wallet' Mobile Payment System
Romney has reportedly been meeting with local GOP power brokers, contacting major donors and campaigning for local candidates -moves seen as steps toward a potential 2018 run for the seat now held by Hatch, according to reports that surfaced earlier this month. But suddenly backed by Trump, Hatch seems to be leaning in another direction.
Romney has reportedly been mulling a Senate bid in Utah for some time, taking steps after the new year and last summer to up his presence in the Utah political scene. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to seek for re-election in 2018 - a move which some see as an attempt to block former Massachusetts Gov.
Hatch, the second senator to endorse Trump during the presidential campaign, has said he's running again but has not announced a final decision.More news: Elton John 'in shock' over death of his mom, Sheila Farebrother
Trump praised Hatch on Monday as "a true fighter" during a joint appearance in Utah, where the president signed proclamations scaling back two sprawling national monuments. The Republicans who discussed the matter with Romney recently said they are convinced Trump wants to keep the former MA governor out of the race. During their event Monday at the Utah State Capitol, Trump said he hoped the Utahn would stay in the Senate "for a very long time to come".
Romney was no friend of Trump's on the campaign trail; in March 2016, he labeled the president "a phony" and "a fraud" whose "promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University".
Such concern apparently exists outside the White House as well. 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.More news: LaVar Ball pulls son LiAngelo Ball out of UCLA