Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake announced on Tuesday that he will not be seeking reelection in 2018. During his speech, he also heavily criticized President Trump.
Flake spoke about indicting Trump and said, “When the next generation asks us, ‘Why didn’t you do something? Why didn’t you speak up?’ What are we going to say? Mr. President, I rise today to say enough.”
He claimed that other officials, and the country as a whole, have failed to stand up to the President. He seems to believe that the lack of rebellion will be a disaster for the GOP.
“It is time for our complicity and our accommodation of the unacceptable to end,” Flake said, “We must never regard as ‘normal’ the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals. 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.”
He continued, “With respect and humility, I must say that we have fooled ourselves for long enough that a pivot to governing is right around the corner, a return to civility and stability right behind it. We know better than that. By now, we all know better than that.”
Flake said, “The notion that one should stay silent as the norms and values that keep America strong are undermined and as the alliances and agreements that ensure the stability of the entire world are routinely threatened by the level of thought that goes into 140 characters — the notion that one should say and do nothing in the face of such mercurial behavior is ahistoric and, I believe, profoundly misguided.”
AZ Central reports:
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.