The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) is doing just about everything it can to take down Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), who has emerged as its best incumbent target of the 2010 election cycle.

But its vice chairman, Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchMichael Steele: Congress must lead on cannabis reform and stand with the American public Overnight Cybersecurity: House Intel votes to release Russia report | House lawmakers demand Zuckerberg testify | Senators unveil updated election cyber bill Omnibus includes search-and-seize provision MORE (R-Utah), isn't helping the cause on that front.

In an interview that aired on National Public Radio on Thursday morning, Hatch praised Dodd as "one of the better senators here."

Hatch was being interviewed alongside Dodd on Democratic efforts on health care, and despite their differences, a love fest ensued.

"Now, I want to compliment Chris, because when Sen. (Ted) Kennedy has suffered from his illness, they asked Chris to chair this. And to come right in without staff and to be able do the job that he's done, I'm really impressed," Hatch said. "Of course, I always have been; Chris is one of the better Senators here. And I know that Ted felt that this would be in good hands with him."

The recording is here, about a minute in.