GOP Sen. Jeff Flake accuses President of 'routine vandalism to democratic norms'

U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake

GOP Sen. Jeff Flake accuses President of 'routine vandalism to democratic norms'

Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake paid a visit to the state today to speak at Saint Anselm College's "Politics and Eggs" series, which has always been a stop for presidential hopefuls. Jeff Flake doubled down Thursday on his criticism of President Donald Trump and the GOP's "seeming amnesia" in the face of Trump's attacks on democratic institutions.

The senator from Arizona, who was facing a tough re-election bid and decided not to run for a second term, isn't knocking down the idea of a presidential campaign, especially against a man who Flake has accused of "charting a very risky path" for the country.

The senator will speak at the Politics & Eggs series, a must-do stop for potential presidential contenders hosted by the New England Council and the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.

"It has not been in my plans to run for president, but I have not ruled it out", Flake said when asked by a member of the audience about a potential presidential campaign.

A University of New Hampshire poll last November showed only 47 percent of Granite State Republicans were willing to say they would vote for Trump in the next presidential primary.

- U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. "Things can unravel pretty fast", Flake said, suggesting that a disastrous mid-term election season for the GOP could realign voter loyalty.

Flake did not appear to be currying favor with his party in Thursday's speech, which was highly critical of the GOP accepting Trump's "anomalous behavior" for political expediency and an appeal to nationalism and populism.

"We have become strangers to ourselves even as we pretend everything is fine", he said. "I should emphasize used to be".

"If we are going to cloister ourselves in the alternative truth of an erratic leader, if we are going to refuse to live in the world that everyone else lives in and reckon with the daily reality that they face including the very real anxiety that they feel, then my party might not deserve to lead", Flake said.

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"Young people have been walking away from the party for a while", Flake said during an event in New Hampshire.

But Flake is correct to recognize that Trump is a bad president, regardless of the two sharing a political party and some views with one another.

On Monday, just three days after Flake's visit, Trump is expected to make his first appearance in New Hampshire since winning the 2016 election.

But he and Gonzales doubted that he will actually run. "The only reason he would do it is vanity".

Lame duck Republican Sen.

He'd like to see "Somebody needs to challenge the president in a Republican primary, if only to remind Republicans what being conservative really means: limited government, economic freedom, individual responsibility, free trade, welcoming immigration". Rose put Flake's chances of beating Trump after two years out of office at "less than zero".

Flake has served 18 years in congress, and is not running for re-election this fall.

"One question is whether the goal of the (2020) challenge will be to win or to serve as a vehicle for principled members of the party to signal disgust", said Cullen, who identifies as a "proud" Never Trumper.

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