Republicans should commit rogue Flake’s words to memory: “I don’t expect that I will be able to support him [Trump] in November….I just don’t see how I can.”
Republicrat Jeff Flake appeared on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” (video) with host John Dickerson Sunday morning — slamming Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Then slamming him again. And a few times more, for good measure.
DICKERSON: You talked about the tone and tenor of his campaign. We have had this conversation, you and I, before. Since then, Donald Trump has made a bit of a pivot. He said he regretted some things. He’s tried to change his position on the undocumented workers. He’s also kind of layered over his view about not allowing new Muslim immigration. Have any of those moves done anything to change your thinking about him as a president?
FLAKE: Well, I would like to see him stick with some of those positions for awhile. The ban on Muslims, he does seem to have walked back. He’s talking more about regions or visa vetting process. That seems to be better. I’m glad to see that. With regard to immigration, he pivots, and then pivots right back, so it’s kind of a 360-degree pivot at times. So, I would like to see a firm position that he sticks with for awhile. And, obviously, I would like to see it a more realistic position in dealing with those who are here illegally now.
DICKERSON: You have said a version of that before. Given how long you have held this position, aren’t you really at a point of no return in terms of ever supporting him?
FLAKE: Well, it becomes increasingly difficult to see that he’s going to change. So, I don’t expect that I will be able to support him in November. I would like to, but he’s the Republican nominee. I just don’t see how I can.
DICKERSON: And you have advised other Republican senators running, including John McCain in your state, to distance themselves from Donald Trump. John McCain in an ad appears to be doing that, saying he will be a check against Hillary Clinton. Is he taking your advice?
FLAKE: No, I wouldn’t suggest he’s taking my advice, but he’s doing what I think Republicans need to do. If we want the future of our party to be what it needs to be, we can’t associate with this kind of message and certainly with this kind of tone and the rhetoric that’s being used. Long term, I think that drives away young voters. It certainly drives away a lot of people in the minority community that we’re going to need moving ahead. So, I think John McCain and others are doing exactly what they need to do.
DICKERSON: Hillary Clinton has been saying that Donald Trump is not a part of the Republican Party. She’s been saying there are Republicans who are not like him. Does actually help Republicans who are trying to win in the same year he’s running as president?
FLAKE: It probably does for anybody to say that. For people to be reminded that this is not what the party stands for, I think, is a good thing. I wish more Republicans would say that as well, but if Hillary Clinton wants to say it, I’m glad people — voters are being reminded of it anyway.
This is a transcript of the full exchange between Flake and host John Dickerson. The interview follows Chris Christy‘s interview.
We have previously posted these articles that corroborate the CBS interview:
July 3, 2016: So you think you know Jeff Flake? Think again.
July 11, 2016: Jeff Flake bungles parenting, yet tries to reprimand Trump
July 17, 2016: Schlafly: Trump treated with hostility; Flake leads the pack
July 31, 2016: Supporting Hillary? It’s in the McCain gene pool
July 24, 2016: Jeff Flake, John & Meghan McCain: In the tank for Hillary
Aug. 25, 2016: Jeff Flake’s deceit exceeded only by his arrogance