Jeff Flake’s says he is a strong supporter of many of President Donald Trump’s policy and personnel decisions, voting for his judicial nominees, his regulatory rollbacks and the GOP health-care plan.
But he says he abhors the president’s boorish behavior and penchant for picking personal fights, which led him to make the public criticisms of Trump – conveyed to the president directly, in the press and in a best-selling book – that ultimately led to his downfall.
Flake’s decision to retire when his term ends next year, announced this past week in a dramatic Senate floor speech, came after reams of polling data showed he would lose decisively in a Republican primary battle next year where he would have likely faced a pro-Trump challenger.
“I couldn’t sleep at night having to embrace the president or condoning his behavior or being okay with some of his positions,” he said. “I just couldn’t do it – it was never in the cards.”
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Ed O’Keefe