President Trump already announced this week that he is all in for 2020. Confident in his first year accomplishments, he feels he will have plenty to run on come the next presidential election. Tax reform is gaining in popularity, he's appointed a record number of judges, and he got a new conservative on the Supreme Court. Not a bad record, so far.
Outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), perhaps President Trump's least favorite Republican (and the feeling is mutual), is not going to be wearing a Trump campaign sticker. In fact, he predicts that someone from the party will challenge him in 2020, and he's encouraging it.
“I do think the president will have a challenge from the Republican Party, I think there should be,” Flake said. “I also think that there will be an independent challenge, particularly if the Democrats insist on putting somebody up from the far left of the party.”
Flake may have had Ohio's Republican Gov. John Kasich in mind, who is said to be considering another go at the White House.
Flake didn't rule out his own presidential prospects, leaving the door open for that Independent party run.
He “wouldn’t swear it off.”
Flake has butted heads with Trump on multiple fronts this past year. Last July, we learned that Flake had written a book called, "Conscience of a Conservative," where the author basically blamed Trump for leading Republicans to compromise their principles.
The president struck back at him, along with Sen. John McCain, during a rally in Arizona last August for being "weak" on borders.
When Flake announced his retirement from the Senate this past fall, he appeared to compare Trump's rhetoric to that of Joseph Stalin's.
"I don't think that we should be using a phrase that's been rejected as too loaded by a Soviet dictator," he explained.
If Flake does challenge Trump in 2020, those debates will be must watch TV.