Chaffetz considering primary challenge to Hatch

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) may want to watch his back.

A few days after Hatch's colleague Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) was knocked out in the GOP primary, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) is hinting he may take on Hatch in 2012.

"It's a possibility, I'm not taking anything off the table," Chaffetz told Fox News. "This anti-incumbent sentiment is a tsunami that isn't going away....I respect everything Senator Hatch has done, but the question is whether 36 years in the U.S. senate might be enough. Orrin will be 78 in 2012."

As Bob Bennett knows all too well,  the Utah GOP primary process gives conservative activists the ability to pick a nominee at their state convention without putting the question to voters. 

Bennett's biggest sin among conservatives was voting for the bailout. Hatch also voted "yea."

And Chaffetz has experience in taking down incumbents. He defeated then-Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah) in the 2008 Republican primary.

Meanwhile, Hatch didn't seem too worried about a Chaffetz challenge.

"He has the right to if he wants to," Hatch told The Blog Briefing Room. "He won't be the first person to challenge me."

"I'm one of the hardest workers you'll ever find," Hatch added. "And I intend to run again, if feel healthy enough to do it. If I can do the same work I'm doing now, [Utah Republicans] are going to want me. They're going to need me, and most people know that."

-- This post was updated at 11:13 a.m. and 1:59 p.m.