May 11th, 2010
04:42 PM ET
13 years ago

GOP's Sen. Bennett: No rush on deciding what's next politically

Washington (CNN) - Utah Republican Sen. Robert Bennett got a standing ovation from his GOP colleagues in a closed lunch at the Capitol Tuesday, but it was probably little consolation for the 18-year Senate veteran after he failed to be re-nominated by his party over the weekend.

"It's like going to your own funeral but still being alive," Bennett said about this return to the Senate. "People say nice things now that it doesn't matter."

Bennett said he won't rush a decision on what he might do next politically.

"We've made the decision not to make any decisions about what I do for now until I have a little time to think about it," he said.

He made clear he doesn't regret any of his Senate votes that angered the right wing of his party.

"On the major votes that I cast that got me in trouble with the people in Utah, I do not regret any on them," he said. "I think they were the right votes."

In the Capitol, some senators fretted about anti-incumbent fever spreading across the country.

"Whether Utah ends up being a trend is unclear," said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said he "felt bad" for Bennett who "deserved to be re-elected." However, Hatch said he realizes that many people in Utah are "mad as hell" and "think the country's going down the drain."

Speaking of the trillions in long-term debt his grandchildren and great-grandchildren face, the typically reserved Hatch blurted out, "I don't want them to inherit this kind of crap."

Filed under: 2010 • Robert Bennett • Utah
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. LacrosseMom (the real one)

    Although I am not a Republican, don't care for Bennett, he is a victim of the Teabaggers "purity test"! Amazing how the GOP is bowing down at the altar of this fringe group!

    May 11, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. ronalde

    run as a independant peple still like don't let the tea partynuts run you off,the tea party don't like you bacause you did what was best for utah not what was best for the gop stand your ground the gop abanded you .,and that dribble from orin hatch's mouth is the same as before,he didn't have a problem when bush ran up the defict what a numb skull.

    May 11, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    Hatch is fortunate that his term was not up this year.

    May 11, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. Irma in North Carolina

    All I can say is good ridance. They need to get some more of them out of there. Wonder if Sarah endorsed this guy. Isnt this her home state.

    May 11, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  5. Dennis

    The Republicans are going to "fringe" themselves out of existence. Kind of like the "Shakers". It is time to get back to basics, the American people of sick and tired of the "dirty tricks" politics and the being in bed with big business and Wall Street. The only reason they are is so they can share in the HUGE BONUSES that the taxpayers fund for corrupt, incompetent, and greedy corporate executives. The consumer flexed their muscle in 2008 and it is time to do it again. It is amazing how fast prices can come down when we shut our wallet. The voters flexed their muscle in 2008 and it is time to do it again. Some people just did not get the message. Maybe it needs to be louder. WE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF SUPPORTING GREED AND CORRUPTION.

    May 11, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  6. Robert

    Good point LacrosseMom. The absolute horror of democracy! How dare people have a say and speak out on their principles?

    May 11, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  7. Steve (the real one)

    @LacrosseMom (the real one),

    Speaking of fringe groups ...ask Blanche Lincoln or any of the Blue Dogs about what happens when you DON"T bow down to the liberal fringe!

    May 11, 2010 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  8. Lou

    Isn't it ironic that the only people holding politicians accountable for their pro-corporate and pro-bailout votes are Republicans.

    The same Democrats who complain all the time about corporate American don't care that their party voted to prop up these corrupt institutions. It's so ironic given all the pro-middle class, anti-corporate rhetoric of Dem that they all support pro-bailout candidates like Barbara Boxer.

    May 11, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  9. JonDie

    This is a person who made absolutely almost NO contribution to the work of the Senate during 18 years. In fact, from 2001 to 2009, he literally rubber-stamped every thing Bush did. In a word, no loss.

    May 11, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  10. Randi L.

    He's what – 76 years old? My recommendation for what he should do next politically is retire. It's what he should have done anyway. Take Arlen Spector with you and go golfing or something.

    May 11, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  11. Kevin from Co

    Well maybe other career politicians will start paying attention to what the main stream voters expect and not cater to the wacky left.

    May 11, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  12. Padraig

    The ignorance is using that name. No, I am not a tea party member but you researching them you will see they are just disgruntled Americans who are unhappy with both parties.

    If you want to mention bowing down, what about both parties bowing down, let's take illegals in our country. One state has finally stood up and said enough. The federal government (Dem and Rep) failed at protecting our national borders. Each state has also the state constitutional responsibility for protecting their borders. Each group bowed down to the Hispanic vote. Each party did not apply the proper pressure on the Mexican government to resolve this issue.

    Ignorant statements as "teabaggers" just shows that you truly do not research the issue but will listen to tv journalists who you deem is truthful.

    May 11, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  13. Future expat

    Bennet is a Senator for 95% percent of the Utah. If your skin is browner than his though, he won't even give you the time of day.


    May 11, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  14. Marty, FL

    If Sen. Bennett was deemed not "pure" enough for the extremes, it sadly epitomizes how far right the GOP is pushing. That's not cooperative governing.
    No thanks.

    May 11, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    the "baggers" are riding high for now. bennett could have won at the polls, but only a few voted in this and they were either baggers or some religious fringe like the evangelicals. i never agreed with anything that bennett stood for–but the trash that the baggers haul in are dangerous. people should watch closely. i have heard many say that the baggers candidate will cause people to vote for the dem–carefull-these people are the ones who voted for W and that shamed our country and damaged it - there has never been a country that was ruled by religion that did not abuse their people. as for the baggers-they are pathetic. they does not mean they should not be watched.

    May 11, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  16. Lets expose Rush Limbaughs staff.

    I just laugh at Bennet and the real Steve,alias Snerdly.hahaha

    May 11, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  17. Jon, MI

    Maybe Bennett didn't do what was best for Utah. Utah took only $574 per head of population in stimulus money. That's less than half of the $1209 per person South Carolina received. No wonder conservatives love Jim DeMint so much and kicked Bennett to the curb, Bennett doesn't bring home the money like tea party hypocrites do.

    May 11, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |