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Mitt Romney finally announces U.S. Senate bid

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced his U.S. Senate candidacy on Friday in Utah with a 2-minute video message promising to bring ‘Utah values’ to the nation’s capital. 

The former Massachusetts governor had delayed his launch by one day following Wednesday’s school shooting in Florida.

‘Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in Washington,’ Romney says in the ad. 

‘Utah has balanced its budgets; Washington is buried in debt. Utah exports more abroad than it imports; Washington has that backwards. Utah welcomes legal immigrants from around the world; Washington sends immigrants a message of exclusion. And on Utah’s Capitol Hill, people treat one another with respect.’

Former Republican nominee and ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney restarted his political career on Friday, announcing in a Twitter video that he is seeking Utah’s U.S. Senate seat held by the retiring Orrin Hatch

Romney telegraphed his intentions on February 1 with a tweet that pointed politics-watchers to a campaign website

Romney telegraphed his intentions on February 1 with a tweet that pointed politics-watchers to a campaign website

President-elect Trump (left) briefly flirted with making Mitt Romney (right) his secretary of state, inviting him to dinner in November 2016. That never happened, likely because Trump never forgave Romney for his March 2016 speech labeling Trump a 'phony' and a 'fraud' 

President-elect Trump (left) briefly flirted with making Mitt Romney (right) his secretary of state, inviting him to dinner in November 2016. That never happened, likely because Trump never forgave Romney for his March 2016 speech labeling Trump a ‘phony’ and a ‘fraud’ 

In a statement, the Democratic National Committee blasted Romney as a wealthy conservative whose priorities line up neatly with those of President Donald Trump.

‘While Mitt Romney desperately wants to separate himself from the extremism of the current administration, the basic policies of Trump’s GOP – whether its tax cuts for the rich or reversing the progress of the [Obamacare] ACA – were his before they were Donald Trump’s,’ the statement from DNC spokesperson Vedant Patel read.

‘Utah deserves a Senator who will expand opportunities and fight to improve the lives of everyone, not another multi-millionaire looking out for himself, his rich neighbors and the special interests.’

The former Massachusetts governor had dropped a not-so-subtle hint on February 1 that he planned to jump in. 

In a tweet, he said he was ‘looking forward’ to making an announcement about the race on February 15 and linked to MittRomney.com, which asked potential supporters for their information to ‘Join Team Mitt.’

Romney will address Republican grassroots supporters Friday night at the Utah County Republican Party Lincoln Day dinner.

The 2012 GOP nominee is not expected to attract much competition in the race, which is for the seat currently occupied by Sen. Orrin Hatch, an 83-year-old Republican who announced his retirement early last month.

As soon as Hatch signaled he was out, Romney changed his location on his Twitter account to Holladay, Utah, one of the two locales where he owns homes in the state.

Despite his late father being a politician in Michigan and Romney, himself, serving as governor in Massachusetts, he has a deep relationship with the state, especially because of his Mormon faith. 

In hitting back at Mitt Romney (left), then-candidate Donald Trump (right) said at a March 2016 campaign rally that Romney was 'begging for my endorsement. I could have said, "Mitt, drop to your knees." He would have dropped to his knees.' Trump endorsed Romney in February 2012

In hitting back at Mitt Romney (left), then-candidate Donald Trump (right) said at a March 2016 campaign rally that Romney was ‘begging for my endorsement. I could have said, “Mitt, drop to your knees.” He would have dropped to his knees.’ Trump endorsed Romney in February 2012

In December, Utah Republicans came to Romney’s defense when former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon charged that he ‘hid’ behind his religion to avoid service in Vietnam. 

Bannon went on the attack after Romney criticized the ex-aide’s continued support for GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore in Alabama. Moore had been accused by multiple women of preying on them, sexually, as teenagers.  

With Bannon still in good graces with President Trump at that time, the episode further exposed the continued rift between Romney and the White House. 

Additionally, Trump had encouraged Hatch to stay in the Senate, in hopes of maintaining an ally in the body over Romney, who could replace retiring Sen. Jeff Flake as the president’s most vocal thorn in his side from the Republican Party.  

While Trump had briefly considered Romney to be his secretary of state, it seems to two men never quite buried the hatchet. 

Romney, in what was an unprecedented move from a former presidential nominee, inserted himself into the 2016 primary begging voters to select anybody-but-Trump. 

‘And let me put it very plainly,’ he said in March 2016. ‘If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished.’  

Romney went on to talk about the now-president’s failed businesses. 

‘A business genius he is not,’ Romney said. 

The ex-nominee also called out Trump for his ‘misogyny,’ his lying and his love of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, months before the Russian election meddling was known about. 

Romney, most famously, also labeled Trump a ‘phony’ and a ‘fraud.’   

Trump hit back at Romney at a rally in Maine the next day. 

‘I don’t know what happened to him,’ Trump said, who had previously mocked the ex-nominee for running ‘one of the worst races in presidential history.’  

‘You can see how loyal he is. He was begging for my endorsement. I could have said, “Mitt, drop to your knees.” He would have dropped to his knees,’ candidate Trump said in classic Trumpian fashion.   



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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