Senator Jeff Flake decided to stand up to the President, decided to stand up to what he said were “times when we must risk our careers in favor of our principles. Now is such a time,” according to his retirement speech.
Or it is possible that he had a look at recent poll numbers and decided that standing up to a US President of whom 80% of Republican voters say he’s doing a good job might not have been the best idea.
So with 14 months left in his term, Senator Flake decides that the best way for him to wrap this up is not to stand for re-election anymore. Does that also mean that he won’t cash his salary for the next 14 months or is that too much to hope for?
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The reason Flake and Corker dropped out of the Senate race is very simple, they had zero chance of being elected. Now act so hurt & wounded!</p>— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/923149037523566592?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 25, 2017</a></blockquote>
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Senator Flake, who has been consistent in his criticism of the Republican Party under Trump (even after winning the Senate, the House and the Presidential race last year), claimed that the impulse to “threaten and scapegoat" will turn America and the GOP into a "fearful, backward looking people" and a "fearful, backward looking party."
Although he never mentioned the president by name, it was clear that the remarks were aimed at the White House administration.
After criticizing President Trump in a state he won for the GOP, Mr Flake started dropping in the polls. Last month, his rival Ms Kelli Ward was backed by 47 percent of possible Republican voters, with Mr Flake far behind with 21 percent.
President Trump has backed Ms Ward since the start of the year and always called Flake out repeatedly at campaign rallies and on Twitter, saying he’s “toxic” and, importantly, weak on border security. Mr Flake has now decided this is a race he cannot possible win and retires, probably netting a big payout along the way.