BOSTON (CBS) – You know the old saying that actions speak louder than words. But in the U.S. Senate, where action is rarely taken, we’re forced to look at words as a measure of political sincerity.

And with that we look at the farewell speech by Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch.

“My heart is heavy because it aches for the times when we actually lived up to our reputation as the world’s greatest deliberative body,” Hatch said Wednesday on the Senate floor. “It longs for the days in which Democrats and Republicans could meet on middle ground rather than retreat to partisan trenches.”

Yes, aren’t we all nostalgic for that. And Sen. Hatch didn’t stop there, calling for a return to old standards of civility and respect for the law.

Yet just hours before, a CNN reporter got this response when he asked Hatch about President Trump being implicated in potential campaign finance fraud in the Michael Cohen case.

“The Democrats will do anything to hurt this president. What happened before he was elected was one thing, but since he’s been elected the economy’s done well, our country’s moving ahead, we’re in better shape than before,” Hatch said, before the reported interjected “But this is not Democrats, it’s the Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney.”

“You think he’s a Republican do you?” Hatch asked. When the reporter said he was appointed by the president, Hatch said “OK. But I don’t care.”

Hatch says “I don’t care” about the facts, about potential criminality, about civil behavior that respects the law.

It seems all he really cares about is the partisanship he was about to decry on his way out the door. In this case, it seems, words do speak louder than facts.

Your feedback is welcome. Email at keller@wbztv.com, or use Twitter, @kelleratlarge.

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