Tags: jeff | flake | re-election | backing | trump

Sen. Jeff Flake Agrees He Can't Win Without Backing Trump

Image: Sen. Jeff Flake Agrees He Can't Win Without Backing Trump
(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 25 October 2017 11:15 AM

Sen. Jeff Flake, who outlined his concerns about President Donald Trump during a Senate floor speech announcing his retirement on Tuesday, agreed Wednesday that he likely could not win in a Republican primary, but that's because he questions the president.

"The bottom line is, if I were to run a campaign that I could be proud of and where I didn't have to cozy up to the president and his positions or his behavior, I could not win in a Republican primary," the Arizona Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.  

"It's not that you have to just be with the president on policy, you can't question his behavior and still be a Republican in good standing apparently in a Republican primary," Flake commented.

Flake commented that while he's been in Washington, he'd come to be known as someone who argued often those in leadership roles in government, but now that he's come out against Trump's behavior, he's being accused of being a "RINO," or "Republican in Name Only."

"Politics has changed quite a bit, that's all I can say," said Flake. I'm not sure when that transformation happened."

Flake said he's been speaking out about Trump's statements from the beginning of the campaign, when Trump called out Mexicans during his announcement.

"Then the judge, [Gonzalo Curiel], born in Indiana with Mexican heritage, [with Trump saying] that he couldn't judge fairly because of that heritage, those things I spoke out on," said Flake. "I didn't get off on the right foot, I guess, with the administration back in the campaign. But that's completely different from policy."

But in the polls, to be a Republican in good standing, "it's not that you have to just be with the president on policy, you can't question his behavior and still be a Republican in good standing apparently in a Republican primary." said Flake.

Further, Republicans are increasingly wanting to know that their lawmakers stand behind Trump, said Flake.

"They take any criticism of the president as somehow something that's not conservative, and that's what's got to change," said Flake. " It really does. I hope to be able to, in the next 14 months, speak out continually. I hope my colleagues do as well because we're entering a time where we're normalizing behavior we shouldn't normalize and it's just not going to be good for the country."

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Sen. Jeff Flake, who outlined his concerns about President Donald Trump during a Senate floor speech announcing his retirement on Tuesday, agreed Wednesday that he likely could not win in a Republican primary, but that's because he questions the president.
jeff, flake, re-election, backing, trump
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2017-15-25
Wednesday, 25 October 2017 11:15 AM
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