The Latest: Bannon-linked PAC hails Flake announcement
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Sen. Jeff Flake’s announcement that he will not run for re-election (all times EDT):
A political action committee linked to President Donald Trump’s former strategist Steve Bannon is calling Republican Sen. Jeff Flake’s planned retirement a “monumental win for the entire Trump movement” and a warning shot to the GOP establishment.
The Great America Alliance is crowing about the Arizona senator’s decision not to seek re-election next year. Andy Surabian of the organization says that after the 2016 election, the group “dedicated itself to advancing the Trump agenda that millions of Americans voted for and there was no bigger goal for us than ridding the Senate of those opposed to the President’s America First agenda.”
Surabian says Flake’s announcement is a message to others in the “failed Republican establishment” that their time is up.
Republican Sen. Jeff Flake says he will not seek re-election next year, delivering a forceful condemnation of the “flagrant disregard of truth and decency” and bemoaning political complicity in a Senate speech clearly directed at President Donald Trump.
The first-term Arizona lawmaker spelled out his frustration and disappointment in a Senate floor speech before relaying the news that he would not be on the ballot in 2018.
Flake says: “There are times we must risk our careers. Now is such a time.”
Flake has criticized the path that the Republican Party has taken under Trump. He says the impulse “to threaten and scapegoat” could turn America and the GOP into a “fearful, backward-looking people” and a “fearful, backward- looking party.”
A spokesman says GOP Sen. Jeff Flake will not run for re-election in 2018.
Flake, who has criticized the path that the Republican Party has taken under President Donald Trump, also told The Arizona Republic in advance of a Tuesday announcement, that “there may not be a place for a Republican like me” in the current GOP.
Flake’s poll numbers had fallen after tangling with Trump. He had a tea party primary challenger in Kelli Ward, whom Trump has praised.