Romney making Senate race announcement in two weeks

Romney making Senate race announcement in two weeks
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Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThis is how Republicans should shape message to win elections Maybe a Democratic mayor should be president Enforcing Trump's immigration plan will be harder than he thinks MORE will reveal later this month whether he'll run for Senate in Utah.

Romney announced the timeline in a short tweet Thursday, saying he would reveal his decision on Feb. 15.

"Looking forward to making an announcement on February 15th about the Utah Senate race," he tweeted, along with a link to his website.

Romney is expected to launch a bid to replace retiring Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Trump now says Korea summit could still happen June 12 The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — The art of walking away from the deal Overnight Finance: Trump signs Dodd-Frank rollback | Snubs key Dems at ceremony | Senate confirms banking regulator | Lawmakers lash out on Trump auto tariffs MORE (R-Utah), a bid that would make him the far-and-away favorite. 

His potential candidacy has been the source of speculation for years, with Senate Republicans excited at the chance for the former Massachusetts governor to join them in the body.

Romney has been a vocal critic of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump appears to confirm deal on Chinese firm ZTE Judge rejects Manafort's attempt to throw out some charges Dem: Trump’s policy of separating children, parents at border ‘would shock Jesus’ MORE's since the campaign trail, with a brief truce during the transition quickly crumbling. He's regularly criticized the president, most notably for Trump's remarks after a woman was killed protesting a white supremacist rally in Virginia and more recently after reports Trump referred to Haiti, El Salvador and some African nations as "shithole countries."

Trump made a public show of heaping praise onto Hatch as he weighed retirement in what many saw as an attempt to keep Romney out of Washington.

But Hatch ultimately decided to retire, telling reporters that Romney would be his pick to replace him. And Trump called Romney soon after to wish him well amid his deliberations about a bid for Senate.

-Updated 3:42 p.m.