By Robert Romano
Sen. Jeff Flake is retiring. Because he no longer has the support of his own constituents in Arizona.
Which is no surprise. Flake does not represent his constituents on issues they care about. He is for open borders on trade and illegal immigrant amnesty.
Early polling in a potential primary showed he was going to get clobbered, and so he announced his retirement, giving a widely hailed speech on the Senate floor where he declared “I will not be complicit” with President Donald Trump.
Ironically, apparently recognizing that the Presidency is a vehicle for getting things done, when it came time to vote for the Trump tax cuts or put Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court by eliminating the Supreme Court filibuster, Flake voted “Yes.”
So, when Sen. Flake appears on CNN to suggest Republicans “might not deserve to lead” because they are following President Donald Trump, take it with a giant grain of salt.
Flake is really speaking for himself. It is he who does not deserve to lead. He wouldn’t even take his stance to voters and attempt to defend it at the polls. Now, why should anyone support him?
He couldn’t follow a president who proposed historic individual and corporate tax cuts to get the economy moving again.
Who opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling.
Who put Neil Gorsuch and other constitutionalists on the federal bench.
Who repealed the Obamacare individual mandate forcing everyone to purchase health insurance.
Who greenlit the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.
Who pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accords and ended former President Barack Obama’s so-called Clean Power Plan.
Who has created a pro-business climate with fewer regulations.
Who has affirmed Congress’ exclusive lawmaking authority under Article I of the Constitution, by moving to end the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and putting the issue to Congress to resolve where it belongs.
Who has proposed to secure the southern border with a wall, end the family chain migration immigration system and the visa lottery, and institute national E-Verify.
Who is restoring the rule of law, cracking down on violent illegal alien offenders, gangs and ending the war on police.
Who recognized what anyone who can look at a map can figure out, that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
Who, if he had not run, we might very well be living under a President Hillary Clinton.
Now, Flake might have disagreed with Trump’s positions on trade, calling for the renegotiation of NAFTA, withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and slapping 25 percent and 10 percent tariffs on steel and aluminum, respectively. Those are discussions worth having.
But, Flake’s objections have never really centered on policy. For him, it’s total style over substance. He doesn’t like the way Trump talks. The way he communicates on Twitter.
You know, the down-to-earth messaging that connected the President with tens of millions of voters in 2016, that propelled him to victory over Clinton in the election.
That’s right. Trump talks tough. And he speaks directly to the American people. Not to tell them what they want to hear. But what he believes is right for the country. That’s why he won.
Perhaps that’s what has Flake and the establishment in total flight. Trump is leading America. He is the President we need and they’ve been left in the dust.
Flake sounds more like he is running to head up an ancient philosophy club than he is about to take on President Trump in the primary in 2020, but I wish him luck. While he’s sitting out there in self-imposed exile, President Trump will still be busy getting more stuff done for the American people.
Maybe while he’s out there, he’ll run into a few of them who support the President and learn a thing or two.
For Congressional Republicans there is one of two things they can do. Stand with President Trump and fight for America and endeavor to get the agenda that got Trump and the GOP elected in 2016, show they care about those issues that put America first and rekindled trust in the Republican brand, or follow Flake’s surrender and lose badly.
The fact is, Republicans haven’t deserved to lead for years after so many disappointments. Corporate bailouts. Open borders. Shipping jobs and production overseas. Selling out to Democrats year after year.
It was President Trump who changed that. That’s why he won, and that’s why he deserves his chance to lead. Good riddance to Flake. The people of Arizona deserve his retirement. Time to turn the page.
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Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.