Utah's largest paper blasts Hatch, says he should step down

The Salt Lake Tribune, labeling the Republican senator "Utahn of the Year", took issue with Hatch's role in President Donald Trump's decision to shrink national monuments in Utah and his role in the GOP's package of tax cuts and reform.

Of course, this move prompted a mountain of mockery, since Hatch more or less signaled approval for all of the negative statements the Tribune said about him.

And still, the legislator, who has served seven terms in the Senate, chose to tweet an image of the newspaper's front page, telling his follower that he is "grateful for this great Christmas honor from the Salt Lake Tribune". Last year, it was a student at Brigham Young University who pushed for reforms.

In a blistering editorial published Monday, the Salt Lake Tribune explained that "Utahn of the Year" was not necessarily a compliment, with the recipient having "done the most, Has made the most news". "To all appearances - appearances promoted by Hatch - this anti-environmental, anti-Native American and, yes, anti-business decommissioning of national monuments was basically a political favor the White House did for Hatch", the newspaper wrote in the editorial.

"These things are often misunderstood".

"When President Obama designated the Bears Ears monument in December, he did so ignoring the voices of Utah leaders who were united in opposition, and even more importantly, ignoring the voices of the local Utahns most affected by this massive land grab", Hatch said in April, according to Desert News.

The editorial goes on to assert that if Hatch runs for office yet again, after previously promising to step down, it would amount to "a theft from the Utah electorate". "If he doesn't, the voters should end it for him".

Hatch told CNN in March that Trump had urged him to seek re-election, and although he said in 2012 that, if re-elected at the time, it would be his last term, Hatch has yet to announce whether he will bring his political career to a close.

Others accused him of "reading" the article as closely as he read the Republican-backed tax bill before voting on it.

Spencer Cox, the lieutenant governor Hatch named as one of his picks, placed in the middle of the pack.

Hatch's positive, light-hearted response to the announcement left some on Twitter wondering if he had actually read the editorial.

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