Is Trump Trying To Block Mitt Romney From The Senate?

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- President Donald Trump and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are a political odd couple, working at opposite ends of the Republican Party. 

Now, Romney may be hoping to succeed Utah Senator Orrin Hatch--but standing in the way is Trump, who spent part of his day Monday flying to and from Utah with Sen. Hatch in tow, hoping to convince him to seek a seventh six-year term.

Daniel Lippman, co-author of the daily Politico Playbook newsletter, said Romney is eyeing that Senate seat, but Trump doesn't want a critic of his administration in that job.

"Romney has been critical of Trump over the last couple of years for his divisive rhetoric," he said. "Trump is engaging in a full court press against Romney."

Romney has been preparing to run for Senate should Hatch resign for some time. Sen. Hatch is 83 years old.

"He's no spring chicken, and people raise questions about Orrin's health and mental fitness," Lippman said. "Romney is significantly younger, but Hatch has been a reliable ally for President Trump and he doesn't want to use that. He's particularly fearful of a Senator Mitt Romney who would join McCain as kind of a tough critic of Trump inside the Republican Party in the Senate."

If Hatch does resign, does Romney have a chance? Lippman thinks so.

"I think if Hatch decides not to run and to retire, in fact, I think Romney is a pretty locked pick for that job," Lippman said. "Romney is very popular in Utah. It would be very easy for him to win a Republican primary, and that's what Trump is worried about--because he knows that Romney is basically a shoe-in for this job, and he doesn't want Romney in the Senate."

Politico's Daniel Lippman discusses this story with WBZ NewsRadio 1030

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