Romney, Pawlenty, Bachmann revive 2012 memories with possible Senate runs

Romney, Pawlenty, Bachmann revive 2012 memories with possible Senate runs

"But every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves, and for me, that time is soon approaching".

In a video shared on Twitter, the 83-year-old Utah Republican announced his plan to leave the Senate early next year after more than 40 years.

Hatch's move likely clears the way for Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, to run for the seat.

Hatch also served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and was at the centre of numerous biggest confirmation battles.

Romney has until March 15 to file for Hatch's seat.

As chairman of Senate Finance Committee, Hatch played a key role in passing the tax bill that President Trump signed into law late last month.

"It would be hard to defeat Mitt Romney if he were running here", said David Hansen, a longtime Utah Republican strategist and chairman of Mr. Hatch's political organization. Asked if he thought Romney would be interested in coming to Washington during the Trump era, Trump replied, "I don't know".

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In December, The Salt Lake Tribune published a scathing editorial calling on Hatch to step down - as the paper named him as "The Tribune's Utahn of the Year", noting that he has never wielded more clout.

Utah is a great state for Romney and a bad one for Bannon, which means that the former White House chief strategist would be under little pressure. Last month, Trump flew with Hatch on Air Force One to Utah for a day of events that was aimed entirely at lobbying the senator to run again.

After the election, Romney submitted himself as a candidate to be secretary of state in an excruciatingly public interview process. As the two senators talked over each other, Hatch said he was exhausted of Democrats' "bull crap".

In the statement announcing his decision not to run again, Hatch cited work with the disadvantaged among his accomplishments, including helping create the Americans with Disabilities Act, expanding children's health insurance and expanding use of generic drugs.

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

No matter who will replace Hatch, his decision to retire has broader implications, given his chairmanship of the important Finance committee and his seniority on other committees.

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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