By Louis Nelson
June 6, 2016
If the general election for president was held today, Sen. Jeff Flake would not support Donald Trump.
Flake (R-Ariz.) joined his GOP colleagues Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell in roundly condemning Trump’s attacks against U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over a case against Trump University, for being of Mexican descent. But unlike the House speaker and Senate majority leader, Flake has yet to endorse the presumptive GOP nominee and didn’t seem anywhere close to doing so in an interview Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“He was not my first choice nor my 17th choice,” Flake said. “He's the nominee, and we'll have to deal with that. I hope that he changes.”
“But you're not endorsing him?” host Joe Scarborough followed up.
“No,” Flake said. “It’s uncomfortable not having endorsed the Republican nominee, I have to say. But I can’t at this point. I hope to be able to support the nominee. I certainly can't right now.”
Flake said Trump’s attacks against Curiel escalated the candidate’s rhetoric to “a new level” and said insinuations from Trump that he might take action against the judge should he be elected were “disturbing.” Flake said that rhetoric could cost Republicans in Arizona, which boasts a large Latino population and has gone for Republicans in every presidential election since 1996.
But even more than just losing the Hispanic vote, Flake said he is worried that Trump’s campaign is turning off GOP voters of all ethnicities across his home state.
“Right-thinking Republicans want somebody who is serious, for example, on immigration reform,” Flake said. “And saying that we're going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it is not a serious proposal. They want serious proposals on how to deal with this war on terrorism. Saying that you're going ban Muslims from entering the country is not a serious proposal.
“So it’s not just Hispanic voters that I’m concerned about,” he continued. “I am concerned about them, but it’s the broader electorate, broader Republicans.”
For more information, go to: www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com