"Mitt Romney would be ideal".
"The rumors are just rumors until Senator Hatch decides he wants to do", said Jason Perry, Director of Hinckley Institute of Politics.
Although he was raised in Michigan, Romney has strong links to the state of Utah, owning a vacation home in Salt Lake City, as well as holding an honorary doctorate from the University of Utah.
USA strikes on Syria represent major shift for Trump
Syria, ironically, was one of the few areas where analysts believed Moscow and Washington might be able to find common ground. Syrian opposition officials maintain that the government's stocks were not fully accounted for, and that it retained supplies.
Romney, 70, reportedly has the backing of Utah Republican leaders and donors who will urge Hatch to retire his seat in 2018, although Romney has signaled he would not do this without the 83-year-old Hatch's blessing.
Hatch told CNN on Friday that he speaks to Romney regularly - but deflected questions about Romney, the former MA governor who is Mormon and owns a home in Utah, replacing him, saying it is "early to talk about this stuff". According to two people with knowledge of the conversation, McConnell encouraged Romney to run if Hatch's seat opens up, and sought to assure the former GOP presidential nominee that he would have more influence in the chamber than a typical junior senator. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is headquartered in Utah, has long relied on Hatch to serve as a representative and ambassador in Washington-a role that Romney views as important, and necessary. Robert Bennett, was ousted by tea party favorite Sen. "I can see why he might not want to do it, but I can also see why if he did it, it would be a great thing for America".
"I would certainly hope we could hold the Senate and that's certainly going to be our goal", he said. Orrin Hatch to retire. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, could be in the mix to replace him. Chaffetz ultimately made a decision to run for re-election for his House seat.