>> I have decided to run for United States Senate because I believe I can help bring Utah's values and Utah's lessons to Washington.>> Six years after losing the 2012 Presidential election, Mitt Romney is jumping back into the political game running for the US Senate from his adopted home State of Utah.
I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington where the former GOP presidential nominee as regarded as the heavy favorite to win a seat being vacated by retiring Senator Orrin Hatch. Romney emerged as a fierce critic of Donald Trump during the 2016 Presidential campaign calling him a phony and a fraud, and it looks like he's taking on Trump again.
>> Romney criticizing the president's immigration policies as he announced his senate bid.>> Utah welcomes legal immigrants from around the world. Washington sends immigrants a message of exclusion.>> As a Mormon beloved in Utah for salvaging the Salt Lake City Olympic games, he's heavily favored to win. After two failed runs for the White House, Romney has kept a low profile while the rules and his party have changed radically, offended by the rise of President Donald Trump.
During the 2016 election, Romney was Trump's most prominent GOP critic, slamming his antics and his inherited wealth. And accusing him of exploiting the anger of Americans for personal gain.>> He's playing the members of the American public for suckers. He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat.
>> That made Romney a Trump target.>> He was begging for my endorsement. I could have said Mitt, drop to your knees, he would have dropped to his knees.>>
But after Trump won, Romney changed his tune, meeting with Trump repeatedly as he was considered for Secretary of State.
Since then Romney's blast at Trump have all but ceased except in January when he called Trump's demeaning comments about immigrants antithetical to American values. Romney's also a former moderate governor of Massachusetts who built a state health insurance program widely seen as a template for Obamacare, which Trump and the Republicans have pledged to destroy.
His more low-key, professional style is a sharp contrast to Trump's off the cuff antics. Trump's evidently willing to put the past behind him. Utah media reports that he asked Romney to get in the race. So the question is whether a Senator Romney would be willing to play ball with Trump or whether he'd serve as antagonist, much like John McCain, another former Republican presidential nominee.
Trump's likely to have fewer friends on Capitol Hill after the 2018 elections, he's gonna need all the help he can get.