Utah Republicans are trying to convince 83-year-old Sen.
"I don't know if he's doing that, but more power to him", Hatch said when asked to respond to a report from The Atlantic that Romney was exploring a Senate run and had spoken to McConnell about it. "Mitt Romney would be flawless". "Obviously, I'm an Orrin Hatch supporter".
'Orrin has to decide what he wants to do. "If he wants to run again, I'm for him". He is the longest-serving Republican in the Senate - first elected in 1976.
Last month, Hatch told the National Journal that if Romney ran, he might step down.
Friday, Hatch told CNN he regularly talks to Romney but said it is "early to talk about this stuff".
Hatch spokesman Matt Whitlock tweeted Friday in response to a CNN reporter, "He's having a lot of fun with you guys".
A Romney spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.More news: Phil Mickelson's gambler pal convicted: 'I'm in total shock'
Is former MA governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney thinking of taking Orrin Hatch's place in the Senate?
And Hatch moved to snuff out the fire. "He's going to make up his mind when he's ready and not until then".
But he declined to handicap the GOP's chances of picking up Democratic-held seats in ten states President Trump carried previous year. Orrin Hatch of Utah decides not to seek re-election.
Although he was raised in Michigan, Romney has strong links to the state of Utah, owning a vacation home in Salt Lake City, as well as holding an honorary doctorate from the University of Utah. Romney's son Josh has also been mentioned, but has said he's looking at running for governor in 2020.
"I think it's just that".
Trump has been imploding on both the foreign and domestic policy fronts of late, so the reemergence of one of his preeminent establishment Republican rivals is not surprising.
Jowers said nationally, the GOP could be helped by Romney serving in the Senate.