Former Vice President Joe Biden has encouraged onetime GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to run for the Senate in Utah if longtime Republican incumbent Orrin Hatch decides to retire next year, the AP reports. Biden made the recommendation to Romney on Friday evening at the Utah resort where Romney was hosting an annual invitation-only business and politics summit. The Biden-Romney event, like most of the discussions and speeches at the gathering, was closed to reporters. But people who were there confirmed the conversation and described it as a warm, bipartisan talk. Romney did not give any indication he was considering a run, should Hatch, 83, decide not to run again next year, said one person in attendance, but the idea has been making headlines for a while.
Hatch, who has been in office since 1977, has said he hasn't decided if he'll seek another term but he might step aside if Romney ran. The 70-year-old former Massachusetts governor now lives in Utah, where he's remained popular as the man who led a turnaround of the scandal-plagued 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and as a prominent Mormon businessman and politician in a state that's home to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In April, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he reached out to Romney about running for Hatch's seat, but said he'd support the longtime senator if he decided to run again. In other news related to both Romney and bipartisanship, Romney revealed on Friday that Hillary Clinton recommended he take the gig as President Trump's secretary of state if it was offered to him. (Read more Mitt Romney stories.)