FreedomWorks loves Lee, hates Hatch

Published: Thursday, July 14 2011 11:00 p.m. MDT

"Well I don't feel good about it," Hatch said. "I think it's ridiculous, but nevertheless, that's the way they are. Frankly, I'm not going to pay too much attention to them. I understand they're nasty — they can be very nasty — and that's not what Utah politics is all about."

Hatch remains unbowed in the face of the FreedomWorks threat to his re-election hopes — and perhaps with good reason. For one thing, Team Hatch announced Thursday that, on the heels of raising $1.3 million from April through June, it has more than $3.4 million in its campaign war chest. Additionally, FreedomWorks isn't the only right-leaning group trying to take down Hatch; Club for Growth released ads in Utah this week attacking the senator for his role in increased government spending over the years.

Lee and Hatch have voted the same way on 69 of the Senate's 93 votes (74.2 percent) this year, and yet FreedomWorks indisputably radiates polar-opposite opinions of Utah's two senators. Hatch's annoyance morphed into shoulder-shrugging bewilderment as he tried to offer context for that apparent disconnect.

"Mike and I vote a lot alike because we think a lot alike," Hatch said. "I've never worried about how my colleague in Utah is going to vote. … But for some reason they pick five to 10 votes and then criticize you for that. But my gosh — I've voted over 12,000 times, almost 12,500 times. I'm one of the most voted senators in the history of the Senate. It'd be pretty shocking if you couldn't find a few votes you disagreed with — in fact, I disagree with a few of them myself as I look back in time."

EMAIL: jaskar@desnews.com, twitter: askargo

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