Hatch Defends Record, Rebukes Chaffetz

Posted June 8, 2011 at 6:41pm

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) had some sharp words for potential primary challenger Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) in a Tuesday interview on the Hugh Hewitt radio show.

Hewitt presented Hatch with recent criticism from Chaffetz. The six-term Senator responded, saying Chaffetz has been running for Senate since being elected to the House in 2008. Hatch said Chaffetz “enjoys getting the publicity.”

“I think he could possibly be a halfway-decent Congressman in the House if he would concentrate on it,” Hatch said, according to a transcript. “But he’s been running for Senate from day one. And others say that he also has said that he might want to run for governor, and one person even said, ‘Well, he’s even talked about running for president.’”

Hatch added he would “never” run against a Republican.

“Well, I don’t know, more power to him, but I don’t believe in running against a fellow Republican,” he said. “When I ran back in 1976, it was against one of the leading liberals in the Senate who was a Democrat.”