Sen. Jeff Flake: You Cannot Win in GOP Breaking From Trump

Sen. Jeff Flake: You Cannot Win in GOP Breaking From Trump

Not only has President Donald Trump consolidated his hold of the Republican Party, but he has also “absolutely” redefined it, and you cannot challenge him and expect to be re-elected, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said Sunday.


“You can’t, as a Republican these days, stand in opposition to some of the president’s policies or not condone his behavior and expect to win a Republican primary,” Flake, a frequent Trump critic, told ABC’s “This Week.” “That’s the reality and then we’re seeing that played out.


“Now, I don’t think that that will last, but that is the reality right now.”


Stopping short of suggesting he might oppose President Trump in a 2020 primary, Flake told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos he hopes “somebody does.”


“I’ve said many times I hope that somebody does in the Republican primary just to remind Republicans what it means to be conservative or Republican — that we believe in limited government, economic freedom, free trade, immigration,” Flake concluded. “I hope that somebody does that.”


Taking on the president is a tall order for Republicans amid a potential midterm blue wave, according to Flake, because the GOP polls far lower than the president in many respects.


“Yeah, I think a lot of people, Republicans in the House and Senate, look at us with a 14 percent institutional favorability rating and long for the president’s 40 percent,” Flake said, who was reminded by Stephanopoulos the only modern-era GOP president to have higher approval ratings than President Trump at this stage of his term was former President George W. Bush after 9/11.


“So, it makes it difficult that way for a lot of my colleagues to say, ‘Hey, let’s stand up to the president.'”



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