Sen. Flake Dangles Possibility Of Presidential Run

Nellie Chapman
December 26, 2017

Sunday on ABC's "This Week", retiring Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) said President Donald Trump did not support loyalty because he only "nominally" a Republican.

Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said President Donald Trump is inviting opposition from a Republican or independent candidate in the 2020 presidential election. Bernie Sanders, an Independent, or Massachusetts Democratic Sen.

He said the disparity between the likely Republican and Democratic candidates "leaves a huge swath of voters in the middle" and could create an avenue for a third candidate. Flake's comments to Karl were the first mention anywhere of the Arizonan as a possible 2020 presidential contender.

And Flake is not ruling out being that challenger. Trump in turn has denounced the senator, who's not seeking re-election next year.

Trump has tweeted in the past that Flake isn't running for re-election because he "had zero chance of being elected" and has nicknamed his nemesis "Sen".

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"I do believe if the president is running for reelection, if he continues on the path that he's on, that that's going to leave a huge swath of voters looking for something else", Flake said on ABC's "This Week".

He later said that he understands Trump has serious appeal in some areas of the country, but that he could see more "swing district" Republican candidates asking the president not to appear with them on the 2018 campaign trail.

The Arizona senator also took a swipe at Trump's populist conservative agenda that champions "America first" policies when he warned the GOP "most definitely" would lose the House and the Senate if the party fully embraced "the Trump direction".

Flake is a staunch critic of Trump's behavior while in office but has mostly toed the Republican Party line with his votes in the Senate. He added that "anger and resentment are not a governing philosophy".

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