"But every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves, and for me, that time is soon approaching".
In a video posted to Twitter, the 83-year-old Utah senator said he was "deeply grateful" to serve as a senator, saying he has "always been a fighter" and now is looking forward to spending more time with family.
If he ran, Romney would enter the Senate race as the heavy favorite, having carried Utah in 2012 by a margin of almost 3-to-1 over Democrat Barack Obama.
Hatchs decision clears the way for the political resurrection of Romney, the former MA governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee who is now a Utah resident and is popular in the Mormon-heavy state.
I join the people of Utah in thanking my friend, Senator Orrin Hatch for his more than forty years of service to our great state and nation.
If he does declare his candidacy, Mr Romney would be widely viewed as all but a shoo-in to snatch the seat in his home state, which is heavily populated by his fellow Mormons.
In his retirement announcement, Mr. Hatch dwelled on his long record, which includes popular, bipartisan initiatives like the Children's Health Insurance Program and the Americans With Disabilities Act, as well as more partisan achievements, like his prominent role in the confirmation of Supreme Court justices and his authorship of last month's tax law, which passed without a Democratic vote. In a very statesman-like way, Romney said Hatch "represented the interests of Utah" with honor and distinction.
At a rally for Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, Bannon called Romney, the GOP's 2012 presidential nominee, a draft dodger who "hid behind" his religion.
The 2o12 Republican presidential nominee has not made any definitive public statements about his plans. Hatch is the president pro tempore of the Senate, as well as the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
The longest-serving Senate Republican with seven terms under his belt, he was first elected in 1976. Senator Hatch may run for reelection. As the two senators talked over each other, Hatch said he was exhausted of Democrats' "bull crap".
WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump responded to veteran Utah Sen.
No matter who will replace Hatch, his decision to retire has broader implications, given his chairmanship of the important Finance committee and his seniority on other committees.