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Hatch Says He’s Healthy Enough For Re-Election, Praises Trump’s First 100 Days

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Julia Ritchey, KUER
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Sen. Orrin Hatch arrives at an event in Lehi celebrating the 45th anniversary of Nature's Sunshine, a dietary supplement maker.

During a visit to a Lehi company Tuesday, Sen. Orrin Hatch addressed President Donald Trump’s first 100 days and his own plans to run for an eighth term.
Senator Hatch says despite lingering acrimony over a failed effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, President Trump’s first days in office are going fine.

“Well, when you look at all of the bitterness against him, and all of the lack of the support by the Democrats, who are still bitter about the election, he’s done really well,” he said.

Utah’s senior Senator spoke in Lehi after attending the 45th anniversary of Nature’s Sunshine, a maker of dietary supplements and one of the oldest multi-level marketing firms in the state.

Hatch says Congress may eventually return to the topic of health care, but that Trump and the GOP have now turned their attention to tax reform, which he thinks will get more bipartisan support.

“Frankly, this is a man who when he says he’ll do it, he’ll do it. And he’s gradually winning some of the Democrats over," he said, before adding, "well, very few, but some."

Hatch’s appearance comes at the beginning of a two-week Congressional break and after he made headlines again for reiterating his intention to run for re-election in 2018 — even though he told voters that this term would be his last.

The 83-year-old Hatch is credited with helping pass major legislation in the mid-90s that allowed dietary supplements to go directly to market without FDA approval, a boon to Utah’s multi-billion dollar wellness industry.

They may also be a secret to Hatch’s political longevity, who responded this way when asked if he takes supplements himself.

“Yes, ma’am, regularly” he said. “I’m a tough old bird, and I work out every day and take good care of myself.”

Hatch says so long as he feels healthy enough to run, he’ll run.

Listen to our full conversation with Sen. Hatch below.

Julia joined KUER in 2016 after a year reporting at the NPR member station in Reno, Nev. During her stint, she covered battleground politics, school overcrowding, and any story that would take her to the crystal blue shores of Lake Tahoe. Her work earned her two regional Edward R. Murrow awards. Originally from the mountains of Western North Carolina, Julia graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008 with a degree in journalism. She’s worked as both a print and radio reporter in several states and several countries — from the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Dakar, Senegal. Her curiosity about the American West led her to take a spontaneous, one-way road trip to the Great Basin, where she intends to continue preaching the gospel of community journalism, public radio and podcasting. In her spare time, you’ll find her hanging with her beagle Bodhi, taking pictures of her food and watching Patrick Swayze movies.
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