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Chaffetz: Still a 'definite maybe' on primary challenge to Hatch

Tea Party-backed Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has Sen. Orrin Hatch in his sights.

A grinning Chaffetz said on MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown that he remains a “definite maybe” on a bid to unseat the six-term Utah Republican in a primary.

Hatch’s recent voting record has turned rightward in recent years, particularly since he witnessed his Senate colleague Bob Bennett defeated by Tea Party-supported primary challenger Mike Lee in the 2010 election.

Asked if that made Hatch now more worthy of conservative support, Chaffetz offered an emphatic no.

“No, I don’t. I don’t,” he said. “That’s why I’m considering running against him.”

Chaffetz said that he “applauds” some of Hatch’s recent outspokenness against the Democratic majority in the Senate but that he remains concerned about Hatch’s past legislative history, which has included some bipartisan projects that angered staunch conservatives.  

“He’s been a great public servant,” Chaffetz said of Hatch, “but the election in 2012 will also be about the future.”