Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has spoken to 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney about the possibility of running for the Senate, McConnell said Friday.

“I’ve had some conversations with Mitt Romney. Obviously, I’m an Orrin Hatch supporter. And Orrin has to decide what he wants to do. If he wants to run again, I’m for him,” McConnell told reporters.

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), 83, is up for reelection in 2018.

“With the 2018 Senate election on the horizon, I have been giving careful consideration as to whether I will seek reelection,” Hatch said in a statement provided by his office. “I have never taken any election for granted, and I would relish the opportunity to put my record before the voters. While I have taken steps to run, I have yet to make a final decision.”

He added: “While it’s no secret that I hold Mitt Romney in extraordinarily high esteem, my musing aloud on the subject has apparently snowballed into a frenzy of premature speculation.”

Hatch recently told the National Journal that he would consider retiring if he found a strong choice to run for his seat. He said Romney “would be perfect.” The Atlantic reported Thursday that Romney is exploring the possibility of a Senate run.

Romney’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.