Last Thursday, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake reaffirmed his NeverTrump obsession by telling a “Politics and Eggs” group that he hopes “someone” will run against President Trump in the Republican presidential primary in 2020.
“I hope that someone does run in the Republican primary,” he said, “somebody to challenge the president. I think that the Republicans want to be reminded what it means to be a traditional, decent Republican, and what the party stands for: limited government, economic freedom, free trade, embracing immigration. These are things that have made the party what it is over the years, and I think that people are wanting to hear that reminder.”
Of course, the Republican Party has never been “pro-immigration” as such. It may not have been outspokenly anti-immigration either, but to pretend that the GOP has always favored unlimited immigration is ridiculous. Flake is certainly part of the pro-immigration wing of the party, but that wing has always been in the minority.
That’s the first problem with his statement. There’s another: it’s self-serving to the extreme. He said not once but twice that although it wasn’t his “plan to run for president,” he hasn’t “ruled it out.” That’s rather obvious politispeak for “Trump needs to face a challenger and that challenger will be me.”
And that is simply laughable. Flake isn’t ‘retiring from the Senate because he’s tired of politics, but because he has lost massive support in his home state of Arizona due to his opposition to President Trump — who won Arizona not only in the Republican primary but also in the general election in 2016. Flake is done. He’s not going to accomplish anything in politics once he leaves the Senate.
Even Flake himself is probably all too aware of this fact. If he challenges Trump in 2020, he won’t do so because he believes he can actually beat the president, but because doing so will enable him to become the professional Republican opponent to Trump. Book deals. TV deals. It’s all a possibility for the man who’s known as Trump Biggest Republican Enemy. The mainstream media, book publishers — they’ll all love him and reward him handsomely for his supposed “principles.”