Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah (F, 33%) lied again.
In 2012, facing a primary challenge from the Tea Party, Sen. Hatch made explicit promises to the people of Utah. Running as a “rock-ribbed” conservative, Hatch told voters in a Republican U.S. Senate primary debate that this term would be his last term, and his “best term.”
“Look, this is definitely going to be my last term,” Hatch said to laughter from a skeptical audience. “No, it is going to be my last term. I’ve committed to that. And it’s going to be the best doggone six years you’ve ever seen.”
In the last four years, since Sen. Hatch’s landslide reelection in 2012, his voting record has repeatedly broken his promise to serve as a conservative senator. Hatch has voted to fund Obamacare, to give amnesty to illegal aliens in the Gang of 8 bill, and to pass a 1,582 page Omnibus spending bill. Hatch also voted over and over again to raise the debt ceiling and continue President Obama’s big-spending liberal agenda.
Hatch’s record in this last term goes against everything he stood for on the campaign trail in 2012, when he ran on a solid constitutional agenda devoted to stopping President Obama’s liberal agenda. Now he expects the people of Utah to send him back to the United States Senate for an eighth consecutive term.
With encouragement from President Trump, Sen. Hatch is breaking his promise not to seek reelection. “I’m planning on [running] right now,” Hatch told CNN Thursday. “That’s what my current plans are …”
When the 82-year-old Hatch last ran for Senate, he earned the endorsement of Conservative Review Editor-in-Chief Mark Levin by promising to be a conservative. Levin will not be fooled again by Hatch’s false campaign promises.
“I would encourage a young, charismatic, articulate conservative to take him on,” Levin wrote in a Facebook post.
Utah conservatives must not forget Hatch’s instrumental role in helping the Obama administration pursue its agenda by supporting President Obama’s liberal nominees to the Justice Department, former Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch.
“Seven-term incumbent Hatch embodies everything that’s wrong with the GOP brand,” CR Senior Editor Michelle Malkin wrote in 2015. “He’s a mascot for the Big Government Republican parade and masquerade of career politicians who stand for nothing and roll over for everything.”
“Orrin Hatch epitomizes the problem with the establishments of both parties,” said CR Senior Editor Daniel Horowitz. “He views the Senate as his personal retirement home rather than an opportunity to fulfill his promises to his constituents”
Beware of Sen. Hatch lurching to the right with his voting record in the year leading up to the 2018 campaign. In what Daniel Horowitz described as a “Hatch effect,” the Utah Republican knows how to use his vote to fool voters when his seat is on the line.
“Hatch voted as a solid conservative during his competitive primary in 2012, only to drop down to a failing grade of 33% since winning reelection. From promoting the Gang of 8 Amnesty to confirming liberal judges and voting for every major spending bill and new program, Hatch violated every promise he made in seeking an ill-fated seventh term just so he can make the Senate his private retirement home.”
A key theme of Hatch’s reelection pitch in 2012 was that as a decades-old incumbent and a member of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, he is better positioned to serve his state than a younger freshman senator, even if such a senator were more conservative.
As Conservative Review Senior Contributor Steve Deace points out, that is a condescending argument.
“It’s an insult to the people of Utah for Hatch to assume literally nobody else could capably represent the state than an 83-year old political lifer,” Deace said. “He is the epitome of the political class — as in people who will literally hold on to power until you pry it from their cold, dead hands — and why we need term limits.”
In his first run for Senate in 1976, Hatch defeated the 18-year incumbent Democrat Frank Moss with the slogan “What do you call a Senator who’s served in office for 18 years? You call him home.”
Orrin Hatch has now served in Washington D.C. for 40 years. It is high time the people of Utah take it upon themselves to drain the swamp and send Hatch to a well-deserved and long-overdue retirement.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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