Former Sen. Jeff Flake will not challenge President Donald Trump in his re-election proposal, announced Tuesday, testing the months of speculation about the next one for one of the most prominent criticisms of Trump of the GOP.
"I have always said that I hope that there is a Republican who challenges the president in primary school," he said in an interview with "CBS This Morning." "I still hope someone will do it, but someone will not be me. I will not be a candidate."
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The Arizona Republican has fueled the rumors that the president might face in a major challenge or in an independent bid after deciding not to run for re-election in 2018 amid fears he would lose Trump's primary challenge at your house
Flake is known for his frequent criticisms of the president, lamenting the lack of civility in politics and breaking with his party to maintain key priorities in order to extract concessions on important matters for him.
But he said on Tuesday that there was a way too hard to overcome Trump in a primary school.
"There is really no way now that I can see," he said, and noted that the Republican National Committee and the president's re-election campaign had taken steps to consolidate Trump's position at the head of the party. Last weekend, the RNC approved a resolution that declared "undivided support" and the Trump campaign is investigating potential delegates to minimize the possibility of destabilizing in the party's candidature convention.
"The RNC and the president's campaign are now merged. They try to do everything they can to eliminate any opposition," Flake said Tuesday.
But he added: "I still hope some – and some are still talking about it – they work, I think that's fine. And I'm not a fan of this president. But that's not me."
While he was careful to describe a challenge for the president as a tough battle, the new polls on Tuesday seems to show that at least some Republican voters are receptive to the idea.
A new Washington Post-ABC News survey found that while three-quarters of voters relying on the GOP or the GOP said they approved Trump's work while in office, almost a third said they wanted it His party was named president of the year 2020.
Among the rumors that a major challenge is discussed, Governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan and former governor of Ohio, John Kasich.