Romney brings together potential Utah rivals

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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A bitter Republican primary for the U.S. Senate could be on the horizon in Utah, yet two potential opponents have one thing in common: Mitt Romney.

Romney’s presidential campaign announced Wednesday that both Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Jason Chaffetz have endorsed him for president.

Hatch is up for re-election next year. Chaffetz has made it clear he’s eying a GOP primary challenge to Hatch, suggesting he would run to the senator’s right.

Chaffetz’s endorsement is interesting, considering the Tea Party-aligned group, FreedomWorks, has launched a “Retire Hatch” campaign and could very well back him in the Senate primary. But the group likely isn’t pleased Chaffetz supports Romney, someone they have made clear they don’t want to win the presidential primary.

“Mitt Romney knows how jobs are created and is the right man at this critical time to lead us toward recovery,” Chaffetz said.

Hatch agrees: “Throughout his life, Mitt has demonstrated that he isn’t just qualified, but has the leadership needed to be President of the United States.”