The chairman of the Utah Republican Party blasted Mitt Romney as a carpet-bagger on Wednesday and compared him to Hillary Clinton.
Romney is expected to announce his candidacy to replace outgoing Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch on Thursday, but not all Republicans are thrilled with the prospect of a Sen. Romney.
“I think he’s keeping out candidates that I think would be a better fit for Utah because, let’s face it, Mitt Romney doesn’t live here, his kids weren’t born here, he doesn’t shop here,” Utah GOP chair Rob Anderson told the Salt Lake Tribune.
“I have two questions for Mitt,” Anderson told the paper. “First of all, why? And how do you expect to represent Utah when you don’t live here?”
Anderson said Romney is “essentially doing what Hillary Clinton did in New York” when she ran for Senate in 2000.
If Romney wins the Senate seat, he is expected in conservative circles to act as a Republican check on President Donald Trump. Anderson isn’t thrilled about that prospect.
“He has never been a Trump supporter” the Utah party chairman said. “I just want somebody to support the party platforms.”
Romney has already ran for elected office in another state: Massachusetts, where he served as governor from 2003 to 2007. After Hatch announced his retirement last month, Romney quietly changed his Twitter location from Massachusetts to Utah.