‘I do hope that there is a Republican who challenges the president in the primary…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Former Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., confirmed that he will not challenge President Trump in the 2020 GOP primary on Tuesday.
The former senator, who is joining CBS News as a contributor, said “there really isn’t a path right now,” regarding the White House.
“I’ve always said that I do hope that there is a Republican who challenges the president in the primary. I still hope that somebody does, but that somebody won’t be me. I will not be a candidate,” Flake said on “CBS This Morning.”
Flake said any Republican primary challenger will have a hard time because “the Republican National Committee and the president’s campaign are now melded.”
“They’re trying to do everything they can to squelch any opposition,” he said.
Flake has been an outspoken critic of the Trump administration since the president took office.
He called on Republicans to “move beyond the cult of Trump’s personality,” last November.
And he reminded viewers of his disregard for Trump once again on Tuesday: “I’m not a fan of this president,” he added.
In December 2017, Flake claimed Trump is “probably inviting a Republican challenge” and “an independent challenge.”
“I do believe if the president is running for re-election, if he continues on the path that he’s on, that that is going to leave a huge swath of voters looking for someone else,” Flake said during an interview on ABC News’ “This Week.”
Flake also weighed in on former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s possible run as an independent in 2020.
He said Schultz’s campaign could pan out if the Democrats nominate someone “far left” and the Republicans nominate a “weakened” president.
“That’s difficult to see, but stranger things have happened, and I think we’re living in strange times,” Flake said.