Republican Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake to try to force vote on DACA stopgap plan Congress punts fight over Dreamers to March Outgoing GOP rep: Republican Party ‘heading into trouble’ in election MORE (Ariz.), who is not ruling out a challenge to President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out ‘subversion’ at VA MORE in 2020, says the Republican Party has succumbed to a “propaganda-fueled, dystopian view of conservatism.”
“It has not been in my plans to run for president, but I have not ruled it out,” the senator said Friday at the “Politics Eggs” speaker series at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, according to WMUR 9 News.
“We have … succumbed to what can only be described as a propaganda-fueled, dystopian view of conservatism,” he said.
The 55-year-old Flake is one of Trump’s loudest critics in the Senate, and is the author of “Conscience of a Conservative,” a book that describes the state of the conservative movement under Trump’s populism. In the book, he describes the current political moment as the “spasms of a dying party.”
Flake gave the 20-minute “Politics Eggs” speech in New Hampshire, a key early primary state in the nominating process.
“I hope that that someone does run in the Republican primary, somebody to challenge the president. I think that the Republicans want to be reminded what it means to be a traditional, decent Republican.”
Flake acknowledged that Trump is currently too popular with the Republican base to lose a primary in 2020. But he said “things could unravel fast” if the party loses its majority in the House and Senate during his first term.
“I’m not ruling that out, either,” Flake said. “There are going to be a lot of other people in the party looking for something else.”
Flake pointed to a “huge swath of voters in the middle” between Trump and left-wing Democrats “that make an independent run by somebody a lot more realistic.”
The senator announced earlier this year that he is not seeking reelection in 2018. Polls indicated Flake would have trouble surviving a primary challenge.