Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is leaning on one of the most well-known names in the state to help him win a seventh term.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who is heading into the final weekend before Super Tuesday, lent his voice to a radio ad launched today by the Hatch campaign.
In the ad, Romney, who endorsed Hatch in September, explains the importance of Hatch’s potential chairmanship of the Senate Finance Committee — one of Hatch’s leading arguments for re-election — and encourages voters to attend local precinct caucuses on March 15 to elect delegates to the state convention.
“We need strong leadership in Congress to help fix the economy,” Romney says in the ad. “Sen. Orrin Hatch will lead the powerful Finance Committee, which will be critical to lowering taxes, balancing the budget and repealing the federal government takeover of health care.”
The Hatch campaign has been working for more than a year to elect Hatch-supporting delegates at the precinct caucuses across the state. Those delegates will attend the April state convention, where either a nominee can emerge with at least 60 percent of the vote or the top two finishers advance to a primary.
“On March 15, please attend your caucuses and keep Orrin Hatch fighting for Utah,” says Romney, a Mormon who is popular in the state after helping lead the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Hatch has a half-dozen Republican challengers, including former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist and state Rep. Chris Herrod, and is largely banking on voters who don’t want to lose the clout of the six-term incumbent.
“As Finance Committee chairman, I will bring Utah values to develop an aggressive and comprehensive agenda that focuses on tough fiscal management and on economic recovery,” Hatch says in the radio ad.
Hatch also released a one-minute TV ad earlier this week with upbeat music, close-up shots and his description of the issue divides in the country.
“Anyone who thinks Orrin Hatch is going to quit or walk away from what may be some of the most critical and defining moments in American history simply does not know Orrin Hatch,” the Senator says in the ad.
A spokeswoman described the ad buy as “significant” and said the total amount spent is still in flux. Hatch has money to burn after ending December with $4.4 million in the bank.