Swamp rat Jeff Flake has been losing by up to 20% in polls for the next GOP Senate Primary in Arizona.
How to respond? Quit politics…and blame the President!
The Senator announced on Tuesday that he would not run for re-election, condemning President Donald Trump for a”flagrant disregard of truth and decency.”
“There are times we must risk our careers,” Flake said. “Now is such a time.”
More from NBC:
Flake, who has criticized the path that the Republican Party has taken under Trump, said the impulse “to threaten and scapegoat” could turn America and the GOP into a “fearful, backward-looking people” and a “fearful, backward- looking party.” Flake didn’t mention Trump by name, but clearly was directing his remarks at the president and his administration.
“A political career does not mean much if we are complicit in undermining these values,” he said.
His extraordinary speech came shortly after Trump had joined Senate Republicans at their weekly policy luncheon, and came a few hours after the president had engaged in a war of words with another retiring Republican senator, Bob Corker of Tennessee.
After bucking Trump in a state the president won, Flake is bottoming out in polls. Republicans may be left with a hard-core conservative challenger that might win the primary but lose in the general election.
Flake was facing a challenge from former state Sen. Kelli Ward, who failed in her effort to take out Sen. John McCain last year but has gained some traction this year. Last week, former Trump strategist Steve Bannon attended a fundraiser for her.
But mainstream Republicans in Arizona believe Ward cannot beat Rep. Krysten Sinema, who is running in her primary as the only well-known Democratic candidate. They’ve been searching for another candidate to take on Flake, and his decision to step aside opens the door wide for those efforts.
You can’t fire Jeff Flake, America. He quit!