Sen. Orrin Hatch released an ACA proposal. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File

Utah's most prominent newspaper, The Salt Lake Tribune, denounced Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch in a blistering editorial published on Christmas Day, urging him not to seek re-election and accusing him of having an "utter lack of integrity."

The backdrop: Many Republicans assumed Hatch would retire at the end of this term, his 7th in the Senate, but President Trump has encouraged him to run again in 2018. It has been long rumored that Mitt Romney will run if Hatch decides to retire.

Key points: The paper, which named Hatch "Utahn of the Year," took issue with his role in advancing the GOP's sweeping tax bill, and aiding in Trump's "dramatic dismantling" of the state's Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

  • The paper's editorial board wrote that reducing the monuments' size "by some 90 percent has no constitutional, legal or environmental logic," later adding that 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 editorial board said if Hatch runs for re-election, after he previously promised to step down, it would amount to "a theft from the Utah electorate."
  • They wrote that the senator "stared down a generation or two of highly qualified political leaders who were fully qualified to take his place."

The senator did not acknowledge the paper's criticism of him on Twitter. Instead, he thanked the paper for the "honor." That response left some on Twitter asking if he had actually read the scathing editorial. In a tweet hours later, he posted a recent editorial in support of the tax bill.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 19,282,972 — Total deaths: 718,851 — Total recoveries — 11,671,491Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 4,937,441 — Total deaths: 161,248 — Total recoveries: 1,623,870 — Total tests: 60,415,558Map.
  3. Politics: Trump says he's prepared to sign executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases.
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

Warren and Clinton to speak on same night of Democratic convention

(Photos: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images, Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton both are slated to speak on the Wednesday of the Democratic convention — Aug. 19 — four sources familiar with the planning told Axios.

Why it matters: That's the same night Joe Biden's running mate (to be revealed next week) will address the nation. Clinton and Warren represent two of the most influential wise-women of Democratic politics with the potential to turn out millions of establishment and progressive voters in November.

Trump considering order on pre-existing condition protections, which already exist

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced on Friday he will pursue an executive order requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, something that is already law.

Why it matters: The Affordable Care Act already requires insurers to cover pre-existing conditions. The Trump administration is currently arguing in a case before the Supreme Court to strike down that very law — including its pre-existing condition protections.