After Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) had told CNN that he couldn’t vote for Donald Trump, the Republican nominee went on a rampage against Flake that tore the Republican Party wide open.
Video of Sen. Flake saying that he can’t support Trump on CNN’s State Of The Union:
Jeff Flake stands his ground: "I simply can't" support Donald Trump. https://t.co/4CGZCNq2UM
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 4, 2016
Here was the exchange between CNN’s Jake Tapper and Sen. Flake:
TAPPER: So, the last time we spoke, you said you did not know what you were going to do on Election Day. You must have a pretty good idea by now, though.
If the election were held today, for whom would you vote?
FLAKE: I would not vote for Hillary Clinton. And, as of now, I would still not vote for Donald Trump.
TAPPER: So, if you — if you don’t want to vote for either of them, would you vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian?
FLAKE: You can always write somebody in.
So, I just know that I would like to vote for Donald Trump. It’s not comfortable to not support your nominee. But, given the positions that he has taken and the tone and tenor of his campaign, I simply can’t.
At this point, a normal presidential nominee may have tried to unify and lead his party by attempting to bring Sen. Flake into the fold.
That is what a normal nominee might do.
This is what Donald Trump did:
The Republican Party needs strong and committed leaders, not weak people such as @JeffFlake, if it is going to stop illegal immigration.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2016
Donald Trump responded to Flake’s comments by attacking a high-ranking member of his own party.
Trump is intent on destroying the Republican Party from within. His natural instinct is to tear the GOP apart. Donald Trump doesn’t care that he is hurting his own chances of winning in November by dividing the Republican Party.
One of the main reasons why Trump is trailing in nearly every poll is that somewhere in the neighborhood of 20% of Republicans don’t support him. At a time when the Republican Party should be singularly focused on Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump is picking fights with Sen. Jeff Flake.
Trump’s thin skin and unfit temperament are the gifts that may not stop giving until Hillary Clinton is elected president in November.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association