Joe Biden just gave Trump nemesis Jeff Flake a new job and a way back in the game after the former GOP Senator from Arizona decided not to run for fear of a primary by a Trump supporter. Flake clashed with Trump early and often although he did vote with the GOP on most issues which got him criticized from the left making him a man on a political island.
Flake criticized the Republican Party and the then-president Donald Trump during a speech announcing his retirement in 2017 saying: “It is clear at this moment that a traditional conservative who believes in limited government and free markets has a narrower and narrower path to nomination in the Republican Party.”
“It’s also clear to me for the moment that we have given in or given up on the core principles in favor of a more viscerally satisfying anger and resentment,” he added.
Flake wrote, “Given the strategic importance of the United States’ relationship with our long-time NATO Ally, the Republic of Turkey, I am honored and humbled by the trust President Biden has placed in me with this ambassadorial nomination.
“This is a pivotal post at an important time for both of our countries. Cheryl and I are grateful for the opportunity to serve, and eager to get to know the extraordinary people of Turkey.
“If confirmed by the Senate, I will be pleased to join a strong, experienced and capable team representing U.S. interests abroad.
“Having served in both the U.S. House and Senate, I understand and appreciate the role Congress plays in U.S. foreign policy, and I look forward to that partnership.
“I also understand the value of having America speak with one voice. Having lived overseas, I have a deep appreciation for the indispensable role that the United States plays around the world.
“There is no substitute for U.S. leadership.
“With this nomination, the Biden Administration reaffirms the best tradition of American foreign policy and diplomacy: the credo that partisan politics should stop at the water’s edge. U.S. foreign policy can and should be bipartisan.
“That is my belief as well, and my commitment,” Flake wrote.
Flake endorsed Biden in 2020 with these words: I could go on, but the litany is all too familiar. It is apparent by now that the president’s behavior has not and will not change, whatever hopes we Republicans might have entertained about the office changing the man.
Some of my conservative friends will say, yes, we don’t like his behavior, but he governs as a conservative. Here, today, I will say to my fellow conservatives: Whatever else you might call the behavior I have just described, it is most assuredly not conservative. Indifference to the truth or to the careful stewardship of the institutions of American liberty is not conservative. Disregard for the separation of powers — the centerpiece of our constitutional system — is not conservative. Governing by tweet is not conservative. It’s not even governing.
And to the refrain — Well, it’s all about the Supreme Court, I say: To fall back on Supreme Court appointments as the last remnant by which we define a once vibrant conservative movement should offer little solace to conservatives.
Three conservative principles have defined and animated the Republican Party over the past several decades. A belief in limited government, a commitment to free trade, and a recognition that strong American leadership around the globe makes America a more secure nation and the world a better place.
So, how are we doing with these principles?
Well, we were running trillion-dollar deficits even before the coronavirus hit us. We have destroyed foreign markets for our goods and services. We have threatened security agreements that have kept the peace for nearly three quarters of a century. We have offended allies who we will desperately need to face China and other long-term threats to our security and prosperity. For no good reason.
Can any of us stand here today and claim that our party has remained faithful to conservative principles during the President’s time in office? No, we cannot.
If we are honest, there is less of a conservative case to be made for reelecting the President than there is a blatant appeal for more rank tribalism. And further division. And more willful amnesia in the face of more outlandish presidential behavior.
I cannot and will not be a part of that. There simply is no future in it. To my fellow Republicans who, like me, believe in the power of conservative ideas — ask yourself: Will we be in a better position to make a conservative case for governing after four more years of this administration? I think we all know the answer.
So here we are today. During the 2016 election, given what I had already seen during the campaign, I knew I could not vote for the President. Like many of my colleagues, I chose to vote for a third-party candidate. Today, given what we have experienced over the past four years, it is not enough to just to register our disapproval of the President. We need to elect someone else in his place, someone who will stop the chaos and reverse the damage.
Putting country over party has a noble history here in Arizona. In 1992, Mr. Republican, Barry Goldwater, endorsed a Democrat running for Congress over the Republican he felt would not represent the party well. Goldwater hadn’t traded in his conservative credentials. Far from it. He simply believed, in that case, that the conservative cause would be better served over the long term if the Democrat prevailed.
And that is what I believe today, in this election. And that is what a growing number of Republicans believe and are declaring today as well.
I have never before voted for a Democrat for president. But I’ve been asked many times over the past four years if I, as a conservative, could vote for a Democrat for President. “Sure,” has been my ready answer, “if he or she were a Joe Biden-kinda-Democrat.
Well, the Democratic Party just nominated a Joe Biden-kinda-Democrat, whom I am confident will approach his constitutional role with the reverence and dignity it deserves. I know that he will reach across the aisle, because that’s what he’s done his entire career.
After the turmoil of the past four years, we need a president who unifies rather than divides.
We need a president who prefers teamwork to tribalism.
We need a president who summons our better angels, not a president who appeals to our baser instincts.
That’s why we need Joe Biden.
If we have learned anything over the past four years, it is that character matters. Decency matters. Civility never goes out of style. And we should expect our president to exhibit these virtues.
I have known Vice President Biden for two decades now. I served with him in Congress for much of that time. He is a good and decent man. I haven’t always agreed with him, and there will be many policies on which we will disagree in the future, and that’s okay. The steadiness of leadership, and the health and survival of our democracy — those things far supersede any policy issues on which we might disagree.
And this much I know: With Joe Biden as president, we will be able to preserve the civic space wherein Republicans and Democrats can go back to merely disagreeing about issues of policy, without fear of revenge or reprisal.
That day cannot come soon enough.
And so, it is because of my conservatism, and because of my belief in the Constitution, and in the separation of power, and because I am gravely concerned about the conduct and behavior of our current president that I stand here today — proudly and wholeheartedly — to endorse Joe Biden to be our next president of the United States of America.
America’s best days are ahead. Go Joe.