Flake Considers Taking on Trump in 2020

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Posted: Mar 16, 2018 8:05 AM
Flake Considers Taking on Trump in 2020

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake is retiring at the end of his term but he may not be giving up on politics altogether.

The staunch critic of President Trump said Thursday during a speech at the National Press Club that he may take on the commander in chief in 2020.

"It's not in my plan to run for president, but I am not ruling it out. Somebody needs to stand up for traditional Republicanism," Flake said. "Somebody needs to raise that, for nothing else than to give people hope that that decent party will be back. We'll get through this."

He also said the blind loyalty to Trump shown by many of his fellow Republican colleagues means the GOP “might not deserve to lead.”

While Flake acknowledged the uphill battle of defeating the president if the election were held today, the Arizona Republican said all that could change dramatically if the GOP has disastrous results in the midterm elections.

"Not today, but two years from now, possibly. Things can unravel pretty fast," Flake said. "As soon as he's viewed as one who loses majorities in the House and the Senate, and there's no chance that someone in the 30s can win re-election, people might move on."

He also said if Trump does not lose support from his base, there is still another option to run as an independent. 

"I'm not ruling that out either," he said. "There are going to be a lot of other people in the party looking for something else."

Steve Duprey, who represents New Hampshire at the Republican National Committee, said his chances are not looking good. 

"It's virtually impossible to beat an incumbent for the nomination,” he said, reports FoxNews.com. “But that doesn't prevent people from trying with various degrees of seriousness."

It’s difficult to say whether Flake is serious or not, considering he acknowledged in October that he wouldn’t even be able to win a GOP primary in his state.

"The bottom line is if I were to run a campaign that I could be proud of, and where I didn’t have to cozy up to the president and his positions or his behavior, I could not win in a Republican primary," he said the day after announcing he wouldn’t seek reelection." "That’s the bottom line."