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Bannon Claims Another Scalp as Jeff Flake Decides Not to Seek Reelection

Under threat of an arduous primary challenge backed by Steve Bannon, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., announced Tuesday he will not seek reelection.

Flake’s decision to retire follows that of Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who stood down as polls showed him below 50 percent with Republican voters in his state. Bannon was recruiting a primary challenger to run against Corker.

The former chief Trump White House strategist now has helped pressure two establishment Republican senators to step aside and make room for candidates more favorable to Trump. Corker and Flake are perhaps Trump’s harshest critics among Republicans in the Senate.

Flake, like Corker, had been struggling in the polls. According to the Arizona Republic, Flake acknowledged that political concerns were driving his decision:

He told The Arizona Republic ahead of his announcement that he has become convinced “there may not be a place for a Republican like me in the current Republican climate or the current Republican Party.”

Flake said he has not “soured on the Senate” and loves the institution, but that as a traditional, libertarian-leaning conservative Republican he is out of step with today’s Trump-dominated GOP.

“This spell will pass, but not by next year,” Flake said.

During an emotional speech on the Senate floor, Flake assailed Trump. “I rise today to say, ‘enough.’ We must dedicate ourselves to making sure that the anomalous never becomes the normal.”

Flake’s decision comes just one week after Bannon hosted a fundraiser for Flake challenger Kelli Ward.

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17 Responses to Bannon Claims Another Scalp as Jeff Flake Decides Not to Seek Reelection

  1. Holy Moly!
    Bannon can take all the credit he likes, but SenFlake was on the wrong side of everything and had lost all of his supporters – like ME.
    I supported MrFlake when he was a Congressman running for the Senate. I liked him, his ideas, his passion, then…..he got to the Senate and became part of what we don’t like there.
    Kelli Ward is a good substitute for what should have been Flake’s long glorious career.

    Now, SenMcCain should show his patriotism and his good sense and immediately retire from public office. He has a large family and not much time (so we’ve been told).
    Resign, John McCain. do the right thing.

  2. Here what I think is going on with Flake, Corker and the other RINOs who have decided to leave the Congress (and there will be others). It’s a campaign donor issue. Here’s what I mean. They all have big and small donors who obviously want committed Republicans to serve in the Congress and to, one would think, support Trump.

    Turns out that Trump has smoked out these two faced RINOs, brought them out of hiding from from behind the BS they’ve spilled on their constituents for years, caused them to say really dumb things about Trump and his agenda and otherwise shined the light of truth on them.

    That public unmasking of the RINOs by Trump has caused donors (my theory, again) to signal that they will not be financially supporting the RINOs in any significant manner in their next re-election campaign. And that opens up the strong possibility of a humiliating defeat for these RINOs in many cases. These Congress critters poll constituent opinion of themselves all the time, and it’s probably looking bad for them, re-election-wise.

    And so, riding on their high horse, flag waving high, they tell us they are leaving the battle for “personal reasons, to “spend more time with their families” or similar self serving excuses. And so it’s adios and “thanks to my supporters all these years” for these RINOs as they ride out on their sway backed, rickety horses.

    And it’s all because they aren’t going to get the campaign funds they need and thereby could easily lose their next re-election campaign.

    And now, in the same light, a Susan Collins story for you. Collins has been insinuating for many weeks here that she might leave the Senate (seeing some bad polls for her election, is she?) and run for Governor of Maine in 2018 (her current Senate term ends in 2020 so she’d have to retire from the Senate and that would set up a nasty Maine Senate race in 2018 to replace her for two years).

    After teasing us with her possible interest to run as Governor of Maine, suddenly, last week Collins publicly announces that she’s no longer interested in being the Governor of Maine and that she could “do more good” in the US Senate. How noble of her.

    The dirty little secret is that survey polls (I got one, so I know they are out there) suggested Collins may in fact lose her bid for governor or, at best, win by a squeaker, which would crush her big ego (and trust me, she has a VERY large ego).

    That’s what’s going on here.

    • We can assume that a lot of big donors are businesspeople, owners of companies, major stock holders, Wall Street investors?
      They’re doing great, better than ever and they don’t want to rock the Trump boat and what he’s proposing.
      Obamacare, the mini “pearl harbor’ that bombed the health insurance industry and caused great harm to individuals, is what woke up the silent majority. From then on, Repubs started winning this and that and soon were the majority in dozens of state houses. The Dems set this all in motion and it led to Donald Trump, POTUS.

      The feeling is still there – we want the government out of our lives and doing what they are charged with doing – nothing else. Flake and Corker are some of those left behind of this movement. There are others, but we’ll have to wait and see how it all shakes out next year.

    • Funny in a way – Arizona isn’t all that big – about 6 million people spread all over the place. More than that live in some big cities in the US, but we’re always in the news for one thing or another. We don’t have any special attraction or business atmosphere that would make people think it’s a good place to live – it’s hotter than H*ll in the summer.
      A majority of voters went for MrTrump in the last election, but our two Senators are anti-Trump in a loud and special way.
      Their attitude toward our President is opposite that of the voters, to their peril.
      SenFlake was losing the re-election run before it even started – his approval was about 25% and that is startling for an incumbent.
      SenMcCain is , well, not representative of the voters he is supposed to lead. He played his heroic fate as a POW to what should have been a fine career, but chose to end it with anger and hatred.
      DrWard, the Repub challenger, will probably win the election. The stated Dem challenger – a Congresswoman- is a lesbian or bi-sexual by her own words and a dyed in the wool Obama/Clinton Dem. ugh.
      We’ll see what happens. Interesting, huh.

    • Well, Maine is a very small state, population-wise, about 1 million people. So, in a way, it’s easier to get the real scoop, what’s going on behind closed doors, etc., because your brother-in-law or cousin or best friend or whomever has pretty good first hand knowledge about what’s happening and may even be in the middle of a situation. I had a nephew who was in the State legislature for awhile and man oh man did he have stories about the backroom deals made in the State House. So it’s not too hard to learn what’s really going on.

  3. In a strange twist the liberal democrats actually reveal their true character, albeit a obnoxious one. Where as some of the republicans try to act the noble but instead find themselves untrue lacking that steadfast character we would like to depend on. One cannot serve two masters honestly.