McConnell says Trump should embrace Romney's Senate bid

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote GOP senator to try to reverse requirement that Pentagon remove Confederate names from bases No, ‘blue states’ do not bail out ‘red states’ MORE (R-Ky.) said that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE should back Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyMilley discussed resigning from post after Trump photo-op: report Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names Attorney says 75-year-old man shoved by Buffalo police suffered brain injury MORE’s Senate bid, saying that the former presidential candidate bolsters the GOP’s prospects of holding onto the seat currently held by Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchBottom line Bottom line Bottom line MORE (R-Utah).

“We don’t want to lose the seat, and this looks like a pretty formidable candidate,” McConnell told The New York Times in an interview on Friday.

Asked whether Trump is comfortable with Romney’s Senate bid, McConnell replied: “I can’t imagine that he’s not.”


After months of speculation, Romney announced this week that he would run to succeed Hatch, the longest-serving Republican currently in the Senate. Hatch, 83, said last month that he would not seek an eighth term in office.

The White House had pressed Hatch to run for reelection in 2018, largely in hopes of deterring Romney from seeking the Senate seat, according to the Times.

Romney, a former Massachusetts governor who challenged former President Obama for the White House in 2012, has been a vocal critic of Trump. Speaking at a GOP dinner in Provo, Utah, on Friday, Romney vowed to break from Trump when he believes it is necessary.

“I’m not always with the president on what he might say or do, and if that happens, I’ll call them like I see them, the way I have in the past,” Romney said, according to the Times. He did, however, mention that he supports much of Trump’s domestic agenda.

McConnell told the Times on Friday that Romney would enter the Senate with a profile similar to the one Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE had when she ran successfully for Senate in 2000. 

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“The best way to think about that, and I told [Romney] this a couple of months ago, I said: ‘You’ll be a freshman like Hillary Clinton was,’ ” McConnell said. “He will come in here with a level of national identity and respect that will make him effective from Day 1.” 

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