Flake Fires Back: Trump Is “Inviting” A 2020 Republican Primary Challenger
After coming under constant attack from the White House in recent weeks, Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona seems to be launching a renewed counteroffensive against President Trump. In speaking with Georgia Public Broadcasting earlier today, Senator Flake said that with the way Trump’s governing and the “direction he’s headed right now, just kinda drilling down on the base rather than trying to expand the base, I think he’s inviting [a primary challenger].” Per The Hill:
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said Thursday that President Trump is “inviting” a presidential primary challenge in 2020 because he’s paying too much attention to appeasing his base.
Flake, whose public attacks on Trump could provoke the president to back a primary challenger against him, made the comments Tuesday during an interview with Georgia Public Broadcasting when asked if Trump will face a primary challenge.
“I don’t know, I think that certainly depends on him. I think he could govern in a way that he wouldn’t,” Flake said.
“But, I think that the way that, the direction he’s headed right now, just kinda drilling down on the base rather than trying to expand the base, I think he’s inviting one.”
Of course, this comes after repeated tweets from President Trump seemingly suggesting that he will endorse Flake’s 2018 challenger, Dr. Kelli Ward.
“Great to see that Dr. Kelli Ward is running against Flake Jeff Flake, who is WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate. He’s toxic!”
“Phoenix crowd last night was amazing – a packed house. I love the Great State of Arizona. Not a fan of Jeff Flake, weak on crime & border!”
Great to see that Dr. Kelli Ward is running against Flake Jeff Flake, who is WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate. He’s toxic!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
Phoenix crowd last night was amazing – a packed house. I love the Great State of Arizona. Not a fan of Jeff Flake, weak on crime & border!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2017
Meanwhile, news hit earlier this week that the DNC is going beyond just speculating about potential 2020 Republican primary challengers as they’re actually starting to spend money on opposition research for a wide field…apparently it’s time for Fusion GPS to dig up some more Russian intelligence on golden showers.
The Democratic National Committee is conducting full-scale opposition research on multiple Republicans it believes could challenge President Donald Trump for reelection — or are likely to run if he does not.
The effort, which began in late spring, covers Vice President Mike Pence, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, among others.
“With Trump’s tumultuous presidency in complete chaos, we are prepared for all scenarios,” said DNC research director Lauren Dillon, confirming the campaign to POLITICO.
In the case of Republicans like Pence and Kasich, the team of over two dozen DNC researchers is mostly updating the existing research books they deployed in 2016, according to Democrats familiar with the arrangement. For the others, the operatives are combing through voting and governing records, compiling financial files, searching for conflicts of interest, and saving clips on their relationships with Trump.
Though, at least as the numbers look right now, it may all be just more wishful thinking from Democrats who have developed a reputation of late for spending obscene gobs on money on losing campaigns…
— Tony Fabrizio (@TonyFabrizioGOP) August 23, 2017