Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) who has been an outspoken critic of the republican President Donald J. Trump, has made the decision not to run again for an elected position in 2018. In short, he is stating that he cannot be complicit with the republican party condoning the behaviors and actions of a president who is not fit for the office, he holds.
He held a mid afternoon conference announcing his future plans. He pointed out that if a democratic party president were in office while acting like President Trump, the same republican legislators would rightfully take steps to correct the situation.
Senator Jeff Flake said that staying silent is not an option for him.
Here is the rest of the story….
On October 24, 2017, David Weigel and Ed O’Keefe of the Washington Post penned the following report, “Sen. Jeff Flake will retire, citing direction of GOP under Trump.”
“Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) will retire from the Senate at the end of his term, saying he was out of step with his party in the era of President Donald Trump.”
“There may not be a place for a Republican like me in the current Republican climate or the current Republican Party,” Flake told the Arizona Republic. “This spell will pass, but not by next year.”
“”The senator’s surprise announcement came after more than a year of criticism of Trump and the direction he had taken the party, culminating this year in a book called “Conscience of a Conservative.” Polls in Arizona found Flake trailing likely Democratic nominee, Rep. Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.), as well as potential primary challengers, if he sought a second term next year.”
On October 24, 2017, Dan Norwicki of AZCentral penned the following report, “Arizona’s Jeff Flake announces he will not seek re-election to U.S. Senate.”
“Condemning the nastiness of Republican politics in the era of President Donald Trump, Sen. Jeff Flake on Tuesday (10/24/17) announced he will serve out the remainder of his term but will not seek re-election in 2018.”
“The bombshell, which Flake, R-Ariz., intended to detail Tuesday afternoon on the Senate floor, will further roil Republican hopes of keeping the party’s 52-seat Senate majority in the midterm elections of Trump’s first term, when the president’s party historically loses seats in Congress.”
“It also likely will upend the race for Flake’s seat.”
“He told The Arizona Republic ahead of his announcement that he has become convinced “there may not be a place for a Republican like me in the current Republican climate or the current Republican Party.”
‘Here’s the bottom line …’
“Flake said he has not “soured on the Senate” and loves the institution, but that as a traditional, libertarian-leaning conservative Republican he is out of step with today’s Trump-dominated GOP.”
“”This spell will pass, but not by next year,” Flake said.”
“Among Republican primary voters, there’s overwhelming support for Trump’s positions and “behavior,” Flake said, and one of their top concerns is whether a candidate is with the president or against him. While Flake said he is with Trump on some issues, on other issues he is not. And Trump definitely views him as a foe, having denounced Flake publicly and called him “toxic” on Twitter.”
“Here’s the bottom line: The path that I would have to travel to get the Republican nomination is a path I’m not willing to take, and that I can’t in good conscience take,” Flake told The Republic in a telephone interview. “It would require me to believe in positions I don’t hold on such issues as trade and immigration and it would require me to condone behavior that I cannot condone.”
“As of Sept. 30, Flake’s campaign had $3.4 million on hand. He has continued to raise money — as recently as Thursday, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice headlined a fundraiser for him in Arizona.”
“Kelli Ward, the former state senator from Lake Havasu City who lost her primary challenge last year against Sen. John McCain, has emerged this year as the top GOP alternative to Flake, but other names have been mentioned as possibilities: Arizona State Treasurer Jeff DeWit, former Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham and Arizona Board of Regents member Jay Heiler. Lesser-known Republicans Craig Brittain and Nicholas Tutora also have filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission,”
“Steve Bannon, Trump’s controversial former White House strategist, has embraced Ward as part of his national “open revolt” against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and the GOP establishment. But other Republicans have warned that Ward is a weak candidate whose nomination would jeopardize GOP chances of holding Arizona’s Senate seat.”
“The winner of the Aug. 28 Republican primary could face Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., considered the front-runner in her the Democratic Senate primary.”
“Bannon, who is now executive chairman of Breitbart News, was quoted by the New York Times late last month as saying if Flake “doesn’t get a better poll in the next 30 days, you’re going to see him step down or the establishment is going to make him.”
“Flake was set to publicly announce his intentions in a Senate floor speech to be delivered at 12:20 p.m. Arizona time.”
“In his prepared remarks, Flake gives a blistering critique of the “coarseness of our national dialogue” that has defined the Trump era, saying it should never become accommodated as a “the new normal.”
“We must never regard as ‘normal’ the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals,” Flake says in his remarks as prepared for delivery. “We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country — the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms, and institutions, the flagrant disregard for truth or decency, the reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons, reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with the fortunes of the people that we have all been elected to serve.
“None of these appalling features of our current politics should ever be regarded as normal,” he says in his speech.”
“Throughout his 17-year political career, Flake has been a champion for comprehensive immigration reform. However, Congress has been unable to come to terms on the issue and Flake’s bipartisan work on legislation in the House and Senate alienated many grass-roots conservative activists who consider a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants to be “amnesty.”
“Shortly after winning a Senate seat, he joined the bipartisan “Gang of Eight,” which in 2013 collaborated on a plan to increase border security and establish a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country at the time. It passed the Senate but the Republican-controlled House of Representatives would not take it up.”
“Flake has publicly sparred with Trump since Trump emerged as a presidential contender in 2015. He refused to endorse or vote for Trump, and during the campaign was a frequent critic of Trump’s tone and tenor and key policy proposals, such as a border wall.”
“Flake further antagonized Trump and the president’s supporters this summer by publishing a book, “Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle,” that took the Republican Party to task for embracing protectionism, nationalism and other tenets of “Trumpism” at the expense of traditional Goldwater-Reagan GOP values.”
“Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., an ally of Flake’s who also has been publicly fighting with Trump, announced Sept. 26 that he would not seek a third Senate term.”
“Flake, 54, was first elected to the Senate in 2012, winning a hard-fought general election against former Surgeon General Richard Carmona after defeating GOP primary opponent Wil Cardon.”
“Prior to that, Flake served six terms in the House starting in 2001.”
“Something of a political maverick, he routinely angered fellow Republicans by highlighting their spending of taxpayer money on parochial priorities.”
“While in the House, Flake’s office ridiculed questionable pork projects with a series of “Egregious Earmark of the Week” news releases that usually included corny jokes and bad puns. In 2006, Flake was profiled by CBS’ “60 Minutes” in a flattering segment that compared him to the principled Jimmy Stewart character in the classic 1939 movie “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” His reform efforts are credited with helping lead to an earmark moratorium on Capitol Hill.”
“If I’m remembered as the guy who killed earmarks, that’s a great thing,” Flake told The Republic in 2012.”
“Flake took up other fights during his years on Capitol Hill.”
“Flake worked for years to ease travel restrictions to Cuba, usually siding with Democrats on the issue and, early in the 2000s, drawing the ire of President George W. Bush’s administration and House GOP leaders. He found an ally on the Cuba issue in President Barack Obama.”
“He also worked with Democrats on legislation aimed at strengthening protections for civil liberties.”
“In its November 2008 issue, Esquire magazine honored Flake as one of the 10 best elected officials in Washington. A true conservative, Flake is as rare as the dodo,” the magazine said. “Republicans should learn from him, and liberals and libertarians will find in him a strong privacy-rights ally.”