Utah GOP chair takes back criticism of Romney as Senate candidate

Utah GOP chair takes back criticism of Romney as Senate candidate. (File photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) — Utah GOP chair Rob Anderson said he regrets criticizing Mitt Romney after news broke that he will be announcing a campaign for the Senate in Utah.

Anderson compared Romney to two-time presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who spent little time in New York before her campaign there for U.S. Senate.

"Let's face it," Anderson said, "Mitt Romney doesn't live here, his kids weren't born here, he doesn't shop here."

Anderson expressed a strong desire to see more competition in the race for Utah's upcoming U.S. Senate seat vacancy. According to Anderson, multiple people are interested in running for the position but feel Romney's fame would make their chances of success slim to none.

In a news release issued Wednesday morning, Anderson stated that he regrets his comments about Romney. He states that his intent was not to come across as disparaging or unsupportive.

"While my method of speaking tends to be very matter of fact, it is also true that tone and tenor do not come across well in print," Anderson said.

"I've no doubt that Mitt Romney satisfies all qualifications for Senate, and as Chairman of the Utah Republican Party, I will treat all candidates equally to ensure their path to the Party nomination is honest and fair," Anderson stated.

Anderson said he spoke with Romney and described him as "extremely gracious."

"In a time when many choose to react without knowing all of the facts, I am grateful he reached out to me to discuss this matter," Anderson said, "and even more so that he accepted my apology without hesitation."

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