Mitt Romney has announced that he is considering running for Senate in Utah in 2018. As part of that effort, he has reentered the political fray, speaking out about controversial issues. One such issue is the election of Roy Moore to the Senate in Alabama. Romney suggested that Republicans should refrain from voting for him, putting values over politics.
Former Trump advisor and current Moore campaign aide Steve Bannon responded by attacking Romney for avoiding the Vietnam War. “The college deferments, we can debate that — but you hid behind your religion,” Bannon said. “You went to France to be a missionary while guys were dying in rice paddies in Vietnam.”
However, the sitting Utah Senators backed Romney. Orrin Hatch, one such Senator, has announced that he will retire in 2018, and is expected to endorse Romney to replace him.
“Steve Bannon’s attacks on Governor Romney and his service are disappointing and unjustified,” Hatch said. “Mitt is a close personal friend, an honest leader, a great American, and someone who has sought every opportunity possible to serve our country.”
“Mitt Romney is a good man,” added Senator Mike Lee. “Whether you agree or disagree with him on any matter of public policy, you can’t credibly call into question his patriotism or moral character—especially on the basis of his religious beliefs or his outstanding service as a missionary.”
Utah Governor Gary Herbert joined the conversations, writing on Twitter that Mitt “and his family are honorable people and represent the very best of Utah values.” “Utahns reject the ugly politics and tactics” of Bannon, he concluded.
Trump has been a longtime opponent of Mitt, embarrassingly passing on him for the Secretary of State position after making it seem that he was the front-runner. Spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway said, however, that the two have had productive conversations as of late.