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Bashing Trump Is Not Working For Flake In His Home State

05 August 2017, 12:36 | Myrtle Vega

"I think most Republican senators have their own identity that's separate from the president", said Alex Conant, a GOP strategist and former adviser to Sen.

Will the 535 people in Congress read Flake's book and remember what McCain said? Trump went so far to even threaten Flake over his Senate re-election bid.

Today Flake releases his new book, "Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle".

Flake, narrowly elected to the Senate in 2012, has always been a critic of Trump, and it's been rumored that Trump is itching to back a primary challenge to him next year. Ward ran against Sen. Lisa Murkowski with threats from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke about consequences for her state, which rankled the Alaska senator.

"A lot of that blame is certainly appropriate", said Flake.

But Ward may not be alone in pulling for serious support from the right, this time around.

The book pulls no punches, openly criticizing the President as well as other GOP leaders who, Flake alleges, have enabled the man in the White House for far too long.

"It's completely feasible that there will be long, drawn-out Republican primary for Trump to be renominated", Stutzman said. Graham, who led the state party for two terms, came under fire a year ago when some on the state committee unsuccessfully attempted to pass separate resolutions censuring him and McCain. Bob Dole - who trashed conservatives in the 2016 Republican presidential primary - a principled constitutional conservative? "Jeff Flake has voted in line with President Trump's position 95.5% of the time". Dean Heller of Nevada in 2018, is already running ads about Heller's vote for the Republican healthcare bills. "The way he handled the campaign wasn't good.' But, the reason given, 'Hey, the Russian Federation investigation, ' that should have set off more alarm bells than it did and I think going forward we ought to be careful", he said.

Neither Graham nor DeWit responded to multiple requests for comment. Instead, Flake is offering a critique of the entire Trump presidency and the bargain he and his fellow Republicans made with their own consciences when they chose to stand behind him, or at least acquiesce to him.

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Flake goes on. He quotes conservative writers calling the conservative mind "diseased", and clearly means the Trump presidency.

"Donald Trump is not the source code for our obsession with the politics of personal destruction", Flake writes. Flake's re-election campaign, from paid media to campaign tours, "hasn't really started yet", but the incumbent is raising big money - he had almost $3 million in the bank at the end of June. "We all know how we are different, but let me tell you a few ways that we are similar". Another 19 percent are not sure.

Nevertheless, McCain won - swatting down Ward's intra-party challenge.

It is highly likely that the president would face a challenge from Republicans in the 2020 USA presidential election.

He said he also believes that there should be a "humane and generous mechanism" for people who have crossed the nation's border illegally to support their families, but who have not committed other criminal acts. Meanwhile, 26% said they were more likely to vote for him because of the vote, and 20% said it made no difference.

Hunt: Apart from less spending and more limited government, what is Flake conservatism? The former executive of the conservative think tank The Goldwater Institute in Phoenix, he easily eclipsed McCain by both measures of a lawmaker's conservative credentials a year ago, ranking 16th in the Senate by Heritage's ranking - compared to McCain's 36th place - and 9th according to the Club for Growth.

Why did senators like Flake agree to such an undemocratic process, and vote for such harmful legislation? (He endorsed Trump two months later.) Cruz is up for a second term in November 2018 and Democrats have recruited a real challenger against him in the form of Rep. Beto O'Rourke.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the name of the Federal Election Commission.

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