Former Republican Sen. Jeff Flake is not shy of his criticism toward President Donald Trump, and he’s explaining how he’d rather toss the 2020 presidential win to a Democrat than let Trump see a second term.
At the Intelligence Squared debate in New York on Thursday, Flake delivered a scathing rebuke of the president.
“Are you willing to lose a cycle for the Republican Party because of the principles that you’re arguing?” moderator John Donvan asked Flake.
“Oh yes, yes,” Flake answered.
— Intelligence Squared U.S. (@IQ2US) March 28, 2019
When asked what should happen if Trump is the Republican nominee, Flake said, “You sacrifice a generation, and you think, ‘Man, we might get some policy goals in the next year or two.'”
“Look at the long term. Look at the long term, at what you’re doing for the party, because people don’t want to be associated with it,” Flake added.
“It’s not to say that we want the Democrat elected, I’d like another Republican elected. But if we continue and go with President Trump, I think, that Republican principles, conservative principles will be damaged more in the long run by having President Trump with a second term than they would by limiting him to a first term.”
New York Times columnist Bret Stephens also joined Flake on the idea of not wanting Trump as the Republican nominee in 2020.
However, former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Peek showed their support for Trump.
“No other Republican can possibly win if Donald Trump is nominated,” writer Liz Peek said in response to Flake. “… The list of people considering running at this point, they have no purchase whatsoever in the Republican Party.”
Flake, a frequent critic of Trump, also rebuked the idea that Trump is the only Republican candidate that can garner the votes, calling it “fallacy.”
“We would certainly like it to be a Republican,” Flake said. “And this notion — this narrative that’s been built up, that Donald Trump is the only one that can cobble together the electoral college and win is just a fallacy.”
Watch the video below:
As for the 2020 presidential election, there is a long list in the Democratic presidential field who don’t seem to be doing much to separate themselves. Several of their campaign websites make it hard for voters to understand what the candidates’ policies even are because they lack actual policy pages, as IJR Red reported.
As for Trump, he’s been setting himself apart from other candidates since his 2016 election, especially with his “Promises Kept” section of his campaign website.
[Correction: 3/29/19, 4:23 p.m.]: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the state in which the debate took place. We have corrected the error.