SALT LAKE CITY — Mitt Romney abruptly canceled the online launch of his U.S. Senate campaign scheduled for Thursday, citing the deadly shooting at a Florida school Wednesday.

“As a father and grandfather, my heart aches for the victims of today’s tragic events. My prayers go out to all of the families and loved ones affected by this senseless act of violence,” he tweeted.

“Out of respect for the victims and their families, I will not be making an announcement tomorrow about the Senate race.”

Out of respect for the victims and their families, I will not be making an announcement tomorrow about the Senate race. (2/2)

— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) February 15, 2018

Romney didn’t say when he would reschedule what was to be a video message announcing his candidacy.

The 2012 GOP presidential nominee planned to make an “all-digital” announcement, said Romney’s longtime supporter Kirk Jowers, adding many candidates are choosing that route because that’s how voters get their news.

“It kind of allows everyone to a part of it, whereas the more traditional way, it feels a little more confining,” he said.

Romney is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the Utah County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner in Provo on Friday.

Utah’s adopted favorite son would become the instant front-runner to replace retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, when gets into the race.

Since telling the Deseret News a year ago this month that he was leaving the door open for another run for political office, Romney has been coy about his future. Speculation that he would run amped up after Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, announced his retirement in early January.

Romney, 70, has not faced the media during that time, and has deflected questions about running when reporters have caught up to him. He spoke at two conventions in Salt Lake City last month but didn’t address or joked about the lingering question. His commentary on political issues, including criticizing President Donald Trump, has come via Twitter or Facebook.

Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, an ardent Trump supporter, said he and Romney talked last fall and he supports his candidacy. He said government doesn’t work well when there’s infighting.

“I’d like to hear from Mitt how do we navigate things like that given that nobody’s perfect and there’s criticism we can all have for elected officials,” he said.

Hughes said Romney expressed “strong desire” to work with Trump to get things done.

“My comfort level really …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

      

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Mitt Romney plans, then abruptly cancels online launch of U.S. Senate campaign

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