Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) is one of the few candidates able to "turn this country around," Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said Friday.

Hatch said he thought the former governor would be best suited to run again in 2012.

"I think the guy is one of the few people who can turn this country around," Hatch said during an appearance on "Imus in the Morning" on the Fox Business Network. "He's got the economic wherewithal to help the country through these tough economic times. Plus, he's gutsy."

Hatch endorsed Romney, a fellow Mormon, for the Republican nomination for president in 2008, though Romney eventually lost the GOP primary to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Hatch pointed principally to Romney's record overseeing the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2004, where he turned around the struggling winter games and managed what were widely seen as a successful Olympics.

"That's what he'd do if he was president," Hatch said. "There are some other good people, too."

Hatch also floated some names of candidates he said would make great running mates for the Republican nominee in 2012: Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R).

"And somebody said, 'Well, who should be vice president?'" he said. "And one of the best would be Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels in Indiana -- they're very solid guys doing great jobs in their very difficult states."