On Monday, former Sen. Jeff Flake stated that there are some Republican senators that will never speak up or stand up against Donald Trump because they fear that it will negatively affect them at the ballot box.
Flake appeared on “CBS This Morning” where he sat down with host Gayle King.
“Do you think, senator, that you should have spoken up more? Do you regret that you didn’t speak up more? And why is it so difficult for Republicans to speak up against this president when they don’t believe what he’s doing?” King asked him.
“Well, because they want to keep their jobs, and the president is extremely popular among Republican primary voters,” Flake said. “That is a subset of a subset of a subset. But they are those who decide who represents the party and the general election.”
Flake has been a vocal critic of Trump’s even while he was still a member of the Senate. The Arizona representative retired in 2018. King asked Flake about comments that he made in 2019 in an op-ed for the Washington Post. Flake wrote that Senate Republicans would also be on trial as Trump’s impeachment proceedings were taken up by the upper chamber.
“They are, in a sense, because this president won’t be there forever,” Flake explained. “He’ll either be gone this time next year or four years from now. Then what happens to the Republican Party?”
“My fear is people out there know that, even if this is not an impeachable offense, that the president did something wrong and for Republicans to maintain that he didn’t is just wrong,” Flake added. “And this has long-term ramifications for the party if we act as if we are just devoted to the president no matter what out of this cult of personality that we’ve seen. We certainly saw it in the House.”
King then asked Flake about his criticism of Trump while he was still a senator and if there was anything that he would have done differently.
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“You always look back and say I could have done this differently or that,” Flake said.
“But I did speak up and I decided that I would have to condone behavior, I couldn’t condone or accept positions I couldn’t accept if I wanted to win reelection. That’s why I didn’t,” he concluded.