Mitt Romney announced that he is running for Utah's open seat in the U.S. Senate. "Mitt Romney desperately wants to separate himself from the extremism of the current administration", said Democratic National Committee spokesman Vedant Patel in a statement, but "the basis policies of Trump's GOP. were his before they were Donald Trump's".
Trump, in a trip to Utah late past year, implored Hatch, who is 83, not to retire.
More on Hatch's departure: Utah Sen.
Romney's national name recognition and political clout-thanks to his 2012 presidential bid and tenure as MA governor-mean he would likely have outsize influence for a first-time senator. He previously ran for the U.S. Senate in 1994, losing to the late Ted Kennedy of MA. Yet, following Trump's election win, Romney said he was "impressed" with Trump's transition and cabinet nominees.
The video doesn't address Trump directly but does make a heavy-handed reference to immigration. Trump announced there was blame "on both sides", causing many, including Romney, to condemn the remark.
"Utah welcomes legal immigrants from around the world".
"If you give me this opportunity, I will owe the Senate seat to no one but the people of Utah", Romney says in the video.
While the announcement was expected to happen on Thursday, Romney postponed it following the deadly Florida high school shooting Wednesday night. And on immigration, Mormon voters much more dovish than the immigration hardliners now shaping the debate in Washington. Ryan's endorsement is not surprising, given he was Romney's vice-presidential candidate in the 2012-election cycle.
"Our party and our country are always better off when Mitt is engaged, and I know that he will put his unparalleled experience, conservative leadership and lifetime of service to work for Utah in the U.S. Senate". He, too, applauded Romney's run. Janna and I adore Mitt and Ann. "His talent and drive as a public servant will ensure Utah maintains a strong seat at the table".