Discussions have been taking place between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Mitt Romney regarding the former presidential candidate running to succeed Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in 2018.
McConnell said that recruitment efforts aimed at Romney, or any other prospective candidate, depend on whether Hatch chooses to seek an eighth term in office.
“I’ve had some conversations with Mitt Romney. 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,” McConnell said Friday.
According to The Atlantic, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts governor is considering launching a campaign for the Senate.
Midterm elections are traditionally challenging for the president’s party, and McConnell is focused on maintaining the Senate majority coming out of the 2018 races.
Even so, McConnell would not make any predictions about the Republicans’ chances of winning Democratic-held seats in 10 states that supported President Trump in the November 2016 election.
“I would certainly hope we could hold the Senate and that’s certainly going to be our goal,” he said.
McConnell also addressed the risk of Tea Party or far-right candidates challenging Republican incumbents or obtaining nominations in battleground states and handicapping the GOP’s chances of winning in the general election.
“I don’t think that’s going to be a problem,” he said. “We intend to renominate all of our incumbents and we intend to play in primaries if there’s a clear choice between someone who can win in November and someone who can’t.
“The idea I always remind people is to win the election,” he said, adding that results of the 2010 and 2012 Republican primaries often signaled which party would win Senate seats in the general election.
H/T: The Hill
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