Kristin Murphy
Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox speaks during a luncheon for former prisoners of war at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017.

Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox spoke to Vox in an exclusive interview about the state of politics in Utah, as well as the potential of seeing Mitt Romney bid for the open Senate seat now that Orrin Hatch has decided to retire at the end of the year.

Cox said Utahns don’t buy into the Trump vs. Romney rivalry.

“People are trying to posit Mitt Romney running for Hatch’s seat as Romney versus Trump, and I don’t think most Utahns will see it that way. Mitt Romney is royalty here in the state of Utah. And I can tell you the polling numbers we’ve seen over the past two years, he’s still the most popular politician in the state of Utah. If you look at the mean score for Mitt Romney, he has the best mean score for anyone in the state. It’s just pretty much an inevitability.”

Cox also said Utahns will want to see a respectful version of Romney in Washington, not one who battles Trump on every issue.

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“They love who he is as a person, they love who he is as a family man. They love his track record, from the Olympics to being a successful governor. Someone who has really carried the banner — even though he didn’t live in Utah — for Utah Mormons, someone they can look to who respects people.”

Cox also said Steve Bannon’s assault on the Washington establishment would have no place in Utah.

“I can tell you very clearly that Bannon would get his head handed to him if he came to the state of Utah.

Read the entire interview at Vox.