Tags: Sen. Jeff Flake | Republican party

Despite Criticism, Sen. Flake Says Not Thinking of Quitting GOP

Despite Criticism, Sen. Flake Says Not Thinking of Quitting GOP
Sen. Jeff Flake (AP)

By    |   Sunday, 06 August 2017 05:14 PM

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake said he is not considering leaving the Republican Party, despite his criticism that the GOP leadership is not headed in the correct direction.

Speaking on Sunday with NBC's "Meet the Press," the Arizona senator said he is "not at all" thinking of leaving the party and called himself a "proud" and "lifelong" Republican.

Flake, who faces a difficult reelection campaign next year, said "Arizona tends to elect independent-minded people and people who stand on principle. So, I'm doing what I think my voters expect of me."

Flake said he was particularly concerned that conservatism has "been compromised by populism."

He also reminded those who say the fact that the GOP controls the White House and both houses of Congress means the party is doing well, that "not long ago we had that, in 2006, and we lost it because, I don't think, we acted very conservative, with all the spending and everything else that went on. So, I think that just because we have the House, the Senate and the White House, we can't rest easy and we can't say that populism is a governing philosophy because I don't believe that it is."

Flake emphasized that "I think it's first and foremost the duty of conservatives to tell the truth to the constituency, and it's easy to point to a shuttered factory and say, 'Hey, if we'd just negotiated better trade deals, then those jobs would be there,' when really it's automation and productivity gains. It's much more complex and my concern is that populism is a sugar high and once you come off it, it's particularly troublesome for the party."

The senator, who is promoting a new book "Conscience of a Conservative," said that "what is so broken about our politics is we just can't get together on the big things. And, as conservatives, we simply can't enact conservative policy if we continue these polemics."

He gave as an example the issue of the debt and the deficit, saying that tackling the problem "has to be done with Republicans and Democrats, [because] there's no way one party will take the risk."

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Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake said he is not considering leaving the Republican Party, despite his criticism that the GOP leadership is not headed in the correct direction.Speaking on Sunday with NBC's "Meet the Press," the Arizona senator said he is "not at all" thinking of...
Sen. Jeff Flake, Republican party
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2017-14-06
Sunday, 06 August 2017 05:14 PM
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