WASHINGTON D.C. , November 9, 2018 — Retiring Arizona Senator Jeff Flake has said that a Republican needs to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020. Flake has not ruled himself out. Flake has said “I’ve not ruled it out. I’ve not ruled it in. Just, somebody needs to run on the Republican side.”
Flake has also offered up Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse as two others that could challenge Trump in 2020. Flake has said that Trump’s popularity is damaging the GOP’s long-term viability. Flake said “You can whip up the base for a cycle or two but it wears thin. Anger and resentment are not a governing philosophy.”
While not saying for certain his intentions for 2020, he did say that he is not seeking a return to the Senate in the near future. There will be an open Senate seat in Arizona in 2020. Sen. Flake told The Hill, that he is predicting a major legislative battle with Trump before he retires. Flake has said he intends to introduce legislation that will protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Sen. Jeff Flake realizes that the odds of the legislation passing are long, Republicans can shut down Flake’s call for a vote unless his plan becomes part of spending legislation.
When the Senate convenes next week, @ChrisCoons and I will ask for unanimous consent to bring S.2644, the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, to a vote on the Senate floor. After the firing of The AG, it is more important than ever to protect the Special Counsel.
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) November 8, 2018
Trump took notice of Jeff Flake’s comments and attacked him on Twitter for moving forward with the Mueller bill.
Jeff Flake(y) doesn’t want to protect the Non-Senate confirmed Special Counsel, he wants to protect his future after being unelectable in Arizona for the “crime” of doing a terrible job! A weak and ineffective guy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2018
Flake’s exit from the Senate, does not leave him with many followers. Liberals and Conservatives don’t have much regard for him. Some on the left say he talks a good game but doesn’t back it up, and the right sees him as an enemy of Trump.
Sen. Jeff Flake has also said that he doesn’t expect many key Republican elected leaders to become Trump critics after he retires. Senator Flake understands that Trump is key to winning Republican primaries, so any candidate will tie themselves to Trump in order to win. Flake believes that will cause a max exodus of female and college-educated voters from the Republican party.