McConnell reaches out to Romney about possible Senate bid

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Sources told The Atlantic that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has encouraged Romney to run for the seat in 2018 - if Hatch retires.

Hatch is 83 years old and has served in the Senate since 1977.

"I've had some conversations with Mitt Romney", McConnell said on Friday. Obviously I am an Orrin Hatch supporter. And Orrin has to decide what he wants to do. If he wants to run again I'm for him, ' McConnell said.

Romney, according to The Atlantic, would only run with Hatch's blessing.

"I've made the decision that I'm going to run, but things change", Hatch said. Hatch told National Journal last week, "If I could get a really outstanding person to run for my position, I might very well consider [retiring]". In 2010, Hatch's good friend, the late Utah Sen.

"He's having a lot of fun with you guys", Whitlock tweeted Friday. Chaffetz raised Hatch's ire in 2012 when he publicly considered challenging Hatch for his seat.

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Talk about Romney, meanwhile, is viewed as much more hypothetical - particularly because Romney has always been hesitant to close doors. Orrin Hatch - the Republican elected who now holds the seat for which Romney would be running.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Romney was pretty opposed to then-candidate Donald Trump.

Romney served as the 70th governor of MA from 2003 to 2007 before running for president in both 2008 and 2012.

Currently, though, Romney is on a charity trip in Indonesia.

For his part, Romney, who owns a house outside Salt Lake City, appears to be taking the potential Senate bid seriously.

"The reality is Utah loves Mitt Romney and there's a reason he rises to the list when people start thinking of replacements for Senator Hatch", Perry said.