Senator Jeff Flake of the great state of Arizona is the latest Republican lawmaker to publicly speculate about the possibility that President Donald J Trump could face a primary challenger when he seeks re-election in 2020.
In his recent tweets, President Trump has stated he is not s “fan of” Sen. Flake, who has been touting a new book in which he slams the president and his administration. He also states that Republicans are “in denial” about the Trump presidency and how dysfunctional our country’s government has become.
Senator Flake’s new book, “The Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle” hearkens back to then- Arizona GOP Sen. Barry Goldwater’s 1960 book, “Conscience of a Conservative,” in which he writes that the country has entered “one of the more reckless periods of politics in our history.”
During an interview Wednesday on Georgia Public Broadcasting, Sen. Flake said President Trump seems to be “inviting” a primary challenge.
“I think he could govern in a way that he wouldn’t,” Flake said. “But, I think that the way that … the direction he’s headed right now, just kind of drilling down on the base rather than trying to expand the base, I think he’s inviting [a challenge].”
Senator Flake knows how it feels to be primaried: President Trump has reportedly thrown his support behind Kelli Ward, a former Arizona GOP state lawmaker who is challenging Sen. Flake in next year’s United States Senate race.
And then there’s Sen. Susan Collins of Maine: an outspoken critic of the president. She was one of the three Republicans who did not vote for the ObamaCare repeal legislation and has criticized President Trump’s response to the violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month. During the rally, 20 people were injured and one young lady was killed by a man who ran over her with his car.
Appearing on MSNBC, Sen. Collins was asked if she believes President Trump will be the Republican nominee in 2020. “It’s too difficult to say,” was Collins’ response.
NBC’s Willie Geist reported last week that “sources close” to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who made an unsuccessful run for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, say there is a growing sense of “moral imperative” to primary the president after slamming him for not reacting the way they wanted him to after the Charlottesville incident in which one woman was killed.
NEW: Sources close to @JohnKasich tell me, after Charlottesville, there is growing sense of "moral imperative" to primary Trump in 2020.
— Willie Geist (@WillieGeist) August 16, 2017
Asked about the report during an appearance on CNN on Sunday, Kasich denied planning a campaign against Trump at this point.
“I don’t have any plans to do anything like that,” Kasich said. “I’m rooting for him to get it together. We all are. We’re like seven months into this presidency.”
The president has already begun his bid for re-election, holding several campaign-style rallies and a fundraiser in June at his Washington hotel.
“Of course, he’s running for re-election,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at the time of the fundraiser.
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