Senator Jeff Flake said today that the Republicans “need to be reminded of what conservatism really is,” and that he hopes somebody runs in the primary against President Donald Trump, The Hill reports.
“I do hope that somebody does run in the primary against the president. I think the Republicans need to be reminded of what conservatism really is and what it means to be decent, and we haven’t had that kind of politics lately.”
Flake is retiring after his term ends in January.
The Arizona lawmaker announced his retirement in late 2017, according to Politico, denouncing fellow Republican President Donald Trump and arguing that his criticism of the president had damaged his standing with the increasingly pro-Trump Republican base.
For Jeff Flake, criticizing Donald Trump is nothing new. The senator is a known and vocal critic of President Trump, one of the few remaining voices in the Republican Party willing to go against its hive mind, and a potential 2020 contender, The Hill notes.
While Flake does not shy away from publicly breaking with Trump, in terms of rhetoric, an analysis of his voting record published by FiveThirtyEight shows that the Arizona lawmaker votes in line with Donald Trump’s position 84 percent of the time.
Slate described Flake’s anti-Trump rhetoric as “harsh but hollow,” arguing that the Republican senator acts powerless to resist Trump, while claiming to be dismayed by what the Republican Party is becoming.
Flake doubled down on criticism of President Donald Trump’s behavior today, arguing that the Republican Party needs to return to its values, adding that “anger and resentment are not a governing philosophy.”
In an op-ed for the New York Times, columnist Thomas L. Friedman observed that President Donald Trump has remade the Republican Party in his own imagine, claiming that the president is attempting to remake the United States the same way, “into a selfish, dishonest country with no close friends, totally unpredictable, free of any commitment to enduring values, ready to stab any ally in the back.”
Senator Jeff Flake seems to agree with Friedman’s sentiment.
“This is the president’s party right now, no doubt,” Flake said, explaining that other members of the party are effectively forced to embrace and condone Trump’s behavior and policies in order to win a Republican primary.
Many on the left have similarly opined that the Republican Party is transforming into the party of Donald Trump.
For instance, as detailed by a previous Inquisitr report, former Democratic Party Congressman Charles Rangel recently said that Trump has “completely destroyed the Republican Party.”