Jeff Flake

White House Plays Hardball with Flake

Politico: “The White House has met with at least three actual or prospective primary challengers to Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake in recent weeks, a reflection of Donald Trump’s strained relations with the senator and the latest sign of the president’s willingness to play hardball with lawmakers who cross him — even Republican incumbents.”

“Flake, a longtime Trump critic who refused to endorse the president during the 2016 campaign, is one of a handful of undecided Republican votes on the Obamacare repeal effort. He’s also one of the most vulnerable Republicans up for reelection in 2018.”

Playbook: “If Trump backs a challenger to Flake, it will be a big, big deal. The White House merely meeting with candidates is certain to raise ire in the Senate Republican Conference. Loyalty is a big deal in the Senate.”

Flake Weathers Brutal Town Hall Meeting

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) “endured a brutal face-to-face confrontation with angry constituents Thursday as liberal voters dominated a standing-room-only audience at a town-hall meeting in downtown Mesa,” the Arizona Republic reports.

“Even before he took the stage, the audience chanted ‘health care for all,’ showing their support for former President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the health-care-reform law that Flake has opposed. Flake was battered with questions about that issue as well as President Trump’s proposed border wall; his resolution to stop an Obama administration-era rule on internet privacy; his opposition to taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood; and his support for eliminating the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees to secure the confirmation of Trump’s pick, Neil Gorsuch.”

“But the conversation kept coming back to health care.”

Flake Slams Trump Again

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) hit back at Donald Trump again, Politico reports.

Said Flake: “What Trump has been willing to do is say terrible things about women, mock the disabled, disparage minorities, impugn the character of POWs, and go after the Gold Star parents of a fallen U.S. soldier.”

He added” “I’m not OK with that, and I’m going to keep speaking out until he changes the tone of his campaign. If he refuses to do so, Republicans will lose a lot more than the election in November.”

Pence Tried to Get Flake to Endorse Trump

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said that Gov. Mike Pence recently tried to convince him to back Donald Trump for president arguing the GOP nominee is “a different guy in private than he is shown in public,” Politico reports.

Said Flake: “He made a good case. Mike is a good guy, and I hope that he has influence on Donald Trump, but I have yet to see Donald Trump change positions he needs to change, and particularly change the tone and tenor of the debate.”

He added: “If you could govern in private, I guess that would be OK, but you can’t.”

Flake Says Voters Won’t Take GOP Seriously

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) told WGN-AM that chants of “lock her up” at the Republican National Convention hurt the party’s case against Hillary Clinton.

Said Flake: “I had a bit of trouble with some of the chants, the ‘lock her up’ and what not. I don’t think that that, while it certainly appeals inside to that room, it doesn’t appeal much on the outside.”

Flake Doesn’t Think Trump Can Win

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) told Vanity Fair that he doesn’t think Donald Trump can win the presidential race.

Said Flake: “Well, I just don’t think he can get there. I don’t think that there’s much worry of a Trump presidency if he doesn’t change. I want a Republican in the White House, but he can’t get there, in my view, saying the things he’s saying. And we wouldn’t want him to get there if he continues to say the things that he’s saying. So I hope that he changes, I do.”

Flake Urges Republicans to Withhold Endorsements

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) encouraged his GOP colleagues to withhold their endorsements of Donald Trump as a means of maintaining leverage over the presumptive Republican nominee, the Huffington Post reports.

Said Flake: “It’s not a comfortable position to not support your nominee of the party. None of us want to be in this position. But there are certain things that you can’t do as a candidate. And some of the things he’s done, I think, are beyond the pale.”

Flake Says There Is ‘Fear and Loathing’ of Trump

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) told KTAR that there is “some mixture of fear and loathing” of Donald Trump among his Senate colleagues.

Said Flake: “Donald Trump did not receive a lot of — well, I guess there was one endorsement from the Senate prior to his claiming the nomination or being the presumptive nominee, just one. It’s not as if a lot of senators were clamoring to support him during the process. In fact, many had supported one of the other candidates or hadn’t supported any at all. So, there’s not a lot of enthusiasm.”

Flake Suggests Convention Challenge to Trump

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) told the AP that the Republicans cannot win in November with Trump as the party’s standard-bearer.

Said Flake: “Let’s face it: meet the old Trump, just like the new Trump. We’ve got what we’ve got. That’s not somebody who can win the White House.”

He added: “Where there’s no talk of a convention challenge or anything else, this might spur it.”

For members: It’s Not Too Late to Dump Trump

Flake Says Garland Should Be Confirmed If GOP Loses

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) told NBC News that the GOP should continue to wait on Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court nomination but if Republicans lose the presidential election, they should confirm his quickly.

Said Flake: “I think Republicans are more than justified in waiting. That is following both principle and precedent. But the principle is to have the most conservative, qualified jurists that we can have on the Supreme Court, not that the people ought to decide before the next election. I’ve never held that position. If we come to a point, I’ve said all along, where we’re going to lose the election, or we lose the election in November, then we ought to approve him quickly. Because I’m certain that he’ll be more conservative than a Hillary Clinton nomination comes January.”

Flake Rejects Religious Intolerance at Mosque

Decrying the ugly “rhetoric” coming from the presidential race, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) delivered a powerful message of solidarity with the congregation of an Arizona mosque, the Arizona Republic reports.

Said Flake: “We are a better country than has been on display this week. My hope and prayer today is that the isolated voices calling for division are overwhelmed by the chorus of voices, like those in this room today, calling for acceptance, for tolerance and inclusion.”