Former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), the man who nearly derailed Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, now openly hopes that a Democrat beats President Trump in 2020.
According to The Hill, Flake expressed his 2020 hopes while speaking at a debate hosted by Intelligence Squared in New York over the weekend. The debate circled around whether the GOP should renominate President Trump; joining him to argue against the nomination was New York Times columnist Bret Stephens.
"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 replied.
Flake reasoned that Trump's policies on immigration will hurt the Republican Party over time despite it playing well with his base.
"It can galvanize people for a while, maybe for a cycle or two. But in the end, it turns people off. It turns off minorities. It turns off women," said Flake.
Flake hoped that the GOP would stop sacrificing future generations and think more about long-term considerations.
"You sacrifice a generation, and you think, 'Man, we might get some policy goals in the next year or two,'" Flake said. "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 also blasted the argument that Trump is the only electable 2020 candidate. "We would certainly like it to be a Republican. 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," Flake said.
As noted by Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro when failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney was floated as a potential 2020 challenger to Trump, a primary challenge would not only be disastrous, but also nonsensical:
Here’s how an actual primary campaign against Trump from Romney or anyone else would play out. The primarying candidate would declare him- or herself superior in character to Trump (which would probably be true), a better representative of conservatism than Trump (which could be true in theory but probably wouldn’t be true in policy terms), and a more likely 2020 victor (which would likely be false). On the first count, Republican voters would look the other way just as they did in 2016, having learned the lesson that character doesn’t matter — ironically enough, from 2012 Mitt Romney, whose sterling character plus five bucks bought him a cup of coffee in that election cycle.
On the second count, Republican voters would have to decide whether to throw out a sitting president responsible for, among other things, the seating of two Supreme Court justices and another 83 Article III judges; a massive tax cut; a systematic dismantlement of regulations, including the repeal of the individual mandate under Obamacare and the destruction of the Obama administration’s absurd Title IX standards; the formation of an anti-Iranian alliance among Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia; the movement of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem; the rebuilding of the American military; criminal-justice reform (a policy libertarians certainly favor); and a booming economy (thus far). Trump has governed far more conservatively than expected.
None of Flake's comments, however, should come as a surprise to anyone. For awhile now, he has signaled his support for a Democratic victory in 2020 — especially from former Vice President Joe Biden, who Flake says "strikes fear" in the hearts of many Republicans.
"He can speak to those states that President Trump won, the Rust Belt in particular, and he's seen as more of a centrist. He was a senator for 30 some years. He knows how to work with the Senate, with the Congress, and I think that's certainly one that worries Republicans," Flake said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" last month.