Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake finds those “lock her up” chants at President Donald Trump’s rallies “disturbing” and “unseemly” and hopes somebody runs against the president in the 2020 primaries.
Flake says if he doesn’t oppose the president, he hopes somebody does “to remind Republicans of what … we used to stand for.”
In his farewell interview with C-SPAN, Flake said he’s not shocked by what Trump says anymore but by how supporters at his rallies react to those words.
“The disturbing thing isn’t so much what [Trump] says anymore; it’s the cheers from people behind him and the chants of, ‘Lock her up!’ for example, that’s just unseemly,” Flake said. “It does make me fear that it’s going to be a longer process to get out of this than it should be.” (RELATED: Crowd At Trump Rally Chants ‘Lock Her Up’ When He Brings Up Feinstein)
Those Trump crowds have recently been prompted to chant the phrase, “Another beauty,” when California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein is mentioned, as Trump said earlier this week in Iowa.
But Flake, who is leaving the Senate after only one term, remains convinced that “respect” will prevail, telling C-SPAN, “Ultimately, voters will again value those who can govern and those who can treat each other with respect.” (RELATED: Jeff Flake Says Not A Chance He Could Win Senate Campaign Due To One Political Move)
Nonetheless, Flake “fears for the future of the party if we don’t remember who we are and what principled conservatism really is. And decency, we’ve got to get back to it.”
Flake can envision himself running for the presidency in that future but says he “needs a break” right now and will be leaving the political scene right because, “It’s a tough time to be here,” admitting he “never did warm” to Trump.
The senator acknowledged he’s talking to an empty house because the GOP “is the president’s party right now, no doubt. You have to really embrace the president’s policies and condone his behavior and that’s the bottom line right now.”
However, “anger and resentment are not a governing philosophy,” Flake said.