Former Republican Senator Jeff Flake said on Thursday that he would rather see a Democrat win in 2020 than have President Trump win his second term, The Hill reports.
Flake made the remarks during a debate in New York hosted by the nonprofit Intelligence Squared. Journalist John Donvan, who moderated the debate, asked Flake — who argued that the GOP should not nominate Trump in 2020 — if he would rather see a Democrat win in 2020.
“Oh yes, yes,” the former Republican senator responded, arguing that some of Trump’s signature policies — his immigration policy, for instance — are supported only by his base of supporters, and not by the majority of Republican voters.
Trump’s immigration policy, according to Flake, “can galvanize people for a while, maybe for a cycle or two,” and not much more than that.
The former Arizona senator further argued that the Republican Party should “look at the long term” instead of focusing on immediate future. The GOP, according to Flake, would be better off focusing on long-term strategies instead of focusing on policy victories under President Trump.
“You sacrifice a generation, and you think, ‘Man, we might get some policy goals in the next year or two,'” Flake said of the GOP under Trump’s influence.
“Look at the long term. Look at the long term, at what you’re doing for the party, because people don’t want to be associated with it,” the former senator added.
Furthermore, according to Jeff Flake, the prevailing sentiment among Republicans — that Donald Trump is the only candidate that can win the upcoming election — is deeply flawed. Flake argued during the debate that another Republican could just as easily win the 2020 presidential election.
Jeff Flake and Kris Kobach faced off in a debate about Donald Trump and the Republican Party that was decadently absurd—until Bret Stephens played tape of a death threat he received from a Trump supporter: https://t.co/kYeeGvSJiv
— Jack Holmes (@jackholmes0) March 29, 2019
“We would certainly like it to be a Republican. And this notion — this narrative that’s been built up that Donald Trump is the only one that can cobble together the Electoral College and win is just a fallacy,” said Flake, who retired from the Senate in January.
During his tenure, Flake became known as one of the few Republicans willing to stand up to Donald Trump. He has continued to vocally oppose the president, urging other GOP members to challenge the commander-in-chief. But Flake’s opposition to Trump was always largely rhetorical.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, although claiming to be an opponent of Donald Trump, Flake voted in line with his position 86 percent of the time, according to analyses of his voting record. He has, however, repeatedly criticized Trump’s lack of “decency.” The president returned the favor, publicly boasting about “retiring” Flake.
But Flake’s vocal opposition to Trump was enough to land him a gig at CBS News. As Variety reported, the former Republican senator joined the network as a contributor earlier this year.