Flake Calls for 2020 Trump Primary Challenger

Flake Calls for 2020 Trump Primary Challenger

A Flake challenge to Trump in the presidential primaries would face long, if not impossible, odds.

Trump spoke of his party's tax reform bill ("bigger than [Ronald] Reagan"), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) ("very low-IQ individual"), NBC's Chuck Todd ("sleeping son of a bitch"), and Oprah, whom he said he would "love to beat" in the 2020 election, though it would be "a painful experience for her".

Flake is also planning to introduce legislation to nullify Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, set to take effect later this month.

Toward the end of the interview, Flake bemoaned the state of his party, expressing dismay at how it has evolved in the last few years.

"We should never normalize this kind of behavior, particularly from the president of the United States", Flake said. "Somebody who voices, you know, reservations about where the president is or criticizes his behavior.it's tough to be re-elected in a Republican primary".

Host Chuck Todd asked, "Do you think he needs to be challenged from somebody who espouses your views?"

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"Yes, I do ― I do", Flake said.

President Donald Trump has not backed down from his attacks on the free press and some Republicans, including U.S. Sen.

But Flake says "that's not to say it will stay that way". But, as Todd noted previously, Flake has an upcoming trip to New Hampshire, traditionally the site of the nation's first presidential primary.

He said it's tough to make the case that the Republican Party is still the party of free trade. "I think we're going completely the wrong direction", he said.

Trump appeared at a rally in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, on Saturday in an effort to help Republicans win a congressional district that the president won by 20 points in 2016 and endorse candidate Rick Saccone in the special election on Tuesday. "The problem is when you say, "Let's have tariffs, but let's couple that with uncertainty" - that's nearly worse", Flake said.

Dan Nowicki is national political reporter for The Arizona Republic, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK.

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