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Orrin Hatch: "I'm planning on running again"

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Sen. Hatch intercepts tax reform critics. (File photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Senator Orrin Hatch basked in praise on Friday, speaking before a supportive crowd at the Women Tech Awards, downtown at the Grand America.

Meantime, a report in The Atlantic, said Hatch has been telling friends he's leaving the Senate, to make way for a likely election victory for Mitt Romney.

"Right now, you are planning to run?" KUTV2News asked the senator.

"I'm planning on running again," Hatch replied, but added what seemed to be two caveats.

First, concerns from his wife Elaine, who is against race number eight.

"She's always worried about me," said Hatch. "Certainly I'm going to give great consideration to what she thinks, but as of right now, I'm planning on running."

Then, there is Mitt Romney, whom Hatch has said he would like to see as his successor.

"I've made a decision to run, unless my friend Mitt Romney calls me, and says he'd like to run," he said. "Then I think I'd gladly step aside."

At another time in our interview, Hatch said he was committing to calling it quits if Romney entered the race.

At 83, Hatch is one of the oldest members of the U.S. Senate.

A recent Dan Jones poll for the Salt Lake Tribune and Hinckley Institute of Politics said 75 percent of the respondents do not want him to run again.

"I've always had that kind of poll," said Hatch, "and I always win."