Obama asked the Utah Republican to stay at the White House for a 15-minute private conversation after a previously scheduled meeting on unrelated legislation, according to Hatch’s account. The conversation was “very friendly,” and Hatch said he mostly just listened to Obama’s “very Democratic argument.”
“It was a very congenial, interesting discussion. He’s a very bright man, I like him a lot. I don’t like some of the things that he does but you can’t help but like him as a person,” Hatch said. “I just listened. Really didn’t say hardly anything. He’s always been very nice to me.”
A White House official said that during the meeting Obama “affirmed his commitment to name an individual to the bench who is eminently qualified and deserving of a thorough and fair confirmation process by the Senate.” Even though Hatch supports an outright blockade on Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, the president also told Hatch he will continue to consult with him and the rest of the Senate in the coming days.