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Jeff Flake Announces Retirement, Excoriates Trump

by Countable | 10.25.17

What’s the story?

In a seventeen minute speech on the Senate Floor Tuesday Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) announced his retirement, excoriated President Trump and took the entirety of the Republican party to task for what he called "complicity." Though others in the GOP — Bob Corker, John McCain and George W. Bush, have leveled similar criticisms at the president, Flake is the first one to call out party leaders.

There’s little else in the news today, and, as usual, Twitter is on fire.

There are those on the left who feel Flake’s stand is too little, too late:

While others on the left called on Flake to follow his words with actions to block Trump’s agenda:

On the right, some were jubilant and insisted Flake only retired because he couldn’t win re-election:

While many on both sides applauded the senator’s words:

What do you think?

Was it a speech for the ages? Should Flake have stayed in the fight and run for re-election? Do his votes for the next 14 months need to counter the president for his words to matter? Are you glad he’s leaving? Or do you fear what his leaving signals about the direction of the GOP?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(45)
  • Karen
    10/25/2017
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    More Republican Senators and Representatives need to remember their Oath of Office. They pledged to protect our Constitution, not the President or their Party. If, while under this Administration, they are unable to keep the Oath they took, they need to get out.

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  • Shane
    10/25/2017
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    I applause Flake's actions and implore other republican senators to do the same. Exercise the balance of power and get government working again. However, this is not a courageous action this is just the way it should be. Do other Republican senators have the integrity? Do other Republican senators have the willpower? Will other Republican senators follow their oath of office and stand up for the American people, or will they cower away hoping to cling to power by appeasing a delusional base, hell bent on tearing government down. Will other Republican senators be there when government falls apart and creates a power vacuum for authoritarianism or a militant take over? We the American people are being abandoned by our leaders. Congressmen we need you now more then ever to do the righteous thing. Do your jobs!

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  • Steve
    10/25/2017
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     The ugly truth is that most members of congress are more concerned with getting re elected than they are supporting their political values or even the constitution. I believe that Corker's decision was based on his disgust with the current state of the GOP. Flake probably wanted to avoid another Roy More fiasco in his state. Susan Collins historically put her values over winning elections. it appears that it is easier to be courageous when you don't need to obsess on elections. This is the best reason for term limits for congress.

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  • Ticktock
    10/25/2017
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    Although Flake’s speech was thoughtful and true it’s too late for the Republican Party if it can still be called by that name. They have stood by while the extreme right, the Nazis, white supremacists, and fascists have taken over their political party and are just now beginning to scream wolf. The wolves are in the house and it’s theirs. In 2018 and 2020 the nation must regardless of political affiliations retake our country. We must vote not for party but against these thugs that would return the world to 1933 and the take over of Germany. If Bannon and Trump have their way the US will no longer be for the people by the people but will be ruled by a minority of hardliners on the extreme right who will install a fascist government. It will be a replay of Nazi Germany here in the United States. The only difference is the Germans had an excuse we don’t we have fore knowledge of this outcome if we fail to stop it now. Vote beginning 2018 against this President, Administration and Bannon’s ideals.

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  • Chelsea
    10/25/2017
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    Please continue to speak out against Trump. More brave people need to keep this conversation going if our democracy is going to survive!

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  • Dave
    10/25/2017
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    Finally we got at least two republicans at have a spine!

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  • Jennifer
    10/25/2017
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    These two men who are willing to speak out only when they have nothing to lose are not "heros." Funny that two women Senators have consistently stood for their states and constituents but you don't hear nearly as much about that than you do some childish twitter feud between the President and these men. Action speaks louder than words.

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  • Pego
    10/25/2017
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    My of criticism to Flake and, frankly, to ALL these republicans who "see the light" and denounce the awful corruption which has taken over our Grand Old Party on their way out the door, is that they are fully aware that their replacements will be those willing to live in the corruption and play with the cronies is that hey want absolution for their failure to fight this criminality without paying the price of standing up to the corruption. The GOP is dead. It is replaced by a criminal organization.

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  • RadicalModerate
    10/26/2017
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    Don't stop applauding. Maybe more of them will leave.

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  • Kyle
    10/26/2017
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    A good encore for Flake would be to vote no on the upcoming tax bill hoax . Words are cheap.

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  • Kevin
    10/25/2017
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    I don't think his speech came too late, but I do feel that he should try to run again instead of just giving up; we need level headed people like him, Corker, Collins, Warren, McCain, Warner and Schumer in congress. Who knows what his approval rating will be in a few months of doing the right thing publicly. I'm just glad he got up there and said it, that's a good starting point. It is a shame that some of them are missing the message. I guess it is up to us to keep reminding them.

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  • verymary
    10/25/2017
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    How remarkable to hear the English language spoken as it was intended to be spoken and the Constitution revered as it was intended to be revered. Now we wait for the next honest Senator to step forward.

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  • Jason
    10/26/2017
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    Jeff Fake would not have been re-elected anyway. He barely had double digit approval ratings. So why not leave now before you are voted out? He voted with the Dems on most important issues, so this only improves the GOP. Love how the Dems try and endorse him on his way out.....says everything!!

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  • Azrael
    10/25/2017
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    Great speech but it’s a day late and a dollar short Our country needs more than speeches it needs action now

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  • ThunderPotato
    10/26/2017
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    I had the privilege of hearing this man speak in person a few weeks ago. He spoke thoughtfully, politely, and humbly. A true role model for the GOP- I hope they do more than listen to what he said today.

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  • Christine
    10/25/2017
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    Senators, Representative! Encourage your republican colleagues to speak out in public the way they do in private. This attack on our democracy must END.

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  • Loretta
    10/25/2017
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    Another Statesman and hero...if more Republicans were like him...the swamp monster (45) would just dissolve and we could get back to doing the work of all Americans.

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  • Ken
    10/25/2017
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    On the one hand I understand wanting to get off a sinking ship. On the other hand what about all the other passengers that don't have that choice.

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  • Steve
    10/25/2017
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    The ugly truth is that most members of congress are more concerned with getting re elected than they are supporting their political values or even the constitution. I believe that Corker's disicion was based on his discust with the current state of the GOP. I am very disappointed that he will not

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  • Craig
    10/25/2017
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    I am glad he complains and then leaves. Shows true character. Let’s do better Arizona.

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