- The Washington Times - Friday, February 16, 2018

Mitt Romney announced his official run for the U.S. Senate Friday, highlighting legal immigration, in a subtle slam at President Trump.

“Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in Washington,” Mr. Romney said in the video posted on his Twitter page, highlighting the state’s balanced budget and high volume of exports.

Mr. Romney also commented on the immigration debate that has taken over Capitol Hill in the past month, saying his state welcomes immigrants.

“Utah welcomes legal immigrants from around the world. Washington sends immigrants a message of inclusion. And on Utah’s Capitol Hill, people treat one another with respect,” he said.

Democrats seized on the language calling it a “desperate” move to separate himself from Mr. Trump.

“While Mitt Romney desperately wants to separate himself from the extremism of the current administration, the basic policies of Trump’s GOP — whether its tax cuts for the rich or reversing the progress of the ACA — were his before they were Donald Trump’s,” said Vedant Patel, Democratic National Committee spokesperson, in a statement.

Mr. Romney was the former Republican presidential nominee in 2012 and a former Massachusetts governor. He is running for the seat vacated by longtime Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch who announced his retirement last year.

His former running mate, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, said it was “a terrific day” for the Senate and pledged his “unwavering support” for Mr. Romney.

“Our party and our country are always better off when Mitt is engaged,” Mr. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, said in a statement.

Mr. Romney promised his loyalty will remain with the people of Utah.

“If you give me this opportunity, I will owe this Senate seat to no one but the people of Utah. No donor, no corporation, will own my campaign or bias my vote,” Mr. Romney said.

He is overwhelmingly favored to win the seat in deep-red Utah.

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