Keeping up their trend of inviting never-Trump Republican politicians on the show, the liberal hosts at ABC’s The View welcomed Arizona Senator Jeff Flake with open arms, on Monday’s show. After he used the Senate floor two weeks ago to lambast President Trump while announcing his retirement, the Arizona senator was ready to continue his media friendly tour, and The View was only happy to give it to him.
Host Meghan McCain introduced Flake as a “family friend” saying she was “heartbroken” to see him go, since Congress needs “more men in office like [him] right now.” After loud cheers and applause from the audience, (also the reaction when Senator John McCain was on the show last week, the complete opposite treatment of what any other Republican guest gets on the show,) an impressed Flake remarked:
“If we had an audience like this in the Senate gallery I would never leave!” he joked.
McCain continued her gushy remarks about Flake, noting he had never been a Trump supporter, and asking him why he was retiring now.
The Republican senator explained that he could not win re-election with Trump in office, because he didn’t agree with his positions. Flake dismissed his dismally low approval rating as result of the Trump phenomena:
Let me just say, the honor of my lifetime is to be in the Senate especially as junior senator to Senator McCain. It’s been wonderful. But I felt that I could not run the kind of race that I would need to run to be competitive. I could not speak out as I am now and as I have been over the past several months. There is no way you can be competitive in a Republican primary particularly in a state like Arizona right now if you don't agree with the president's positions or if you don’t condone his behavior.
Host Joy Behar rubbed in the fact that Trump was “right” when he tweeted that Flake had “zero chance of winning” the Senate race. She asked,“if you had a better chance of winning would you have stayed?”
Flake blamed Trump voters, saying that he couldn’t run a campaign based on “truth” because of who was in the Oval Office.
“So you couldn't win with that?” Behar prompted. That’s when Flake let loose, bluntly stating that all the people who voted for Trump blocked truth-tellers like him from standing up to the president:
“No. You can’t. You can't win a Republican primary right now if you’re willing to stand up and say ‘This is not right. This is not normal,’” he stated.
After the panel agreed, he continued to rant against President Trump as “not normal” for bringing up Hillary Clinton’s Russian meddling and Uranium-One deal:
“Yeah. In Arizona and other places as well. It is not normal to have a president come out like he did on Friday and try to direct the FBI and federal agencies to go out after former political opponents. That's not normal and we shouldn't condone it,” he gushed.
Whoopi then wondered what was wrong with people in Arizona and all over the U.S., for not taking Flake’s side on Trump:
WHOOPI: So Let me ask you. You know that. We know that. What's happening in your home state that they don’t see- that they haven't made this marker?
FLAKE: It's not just Arizona. Over all--
WHOOPI: All over the country.
FLAKE: It's become an us versus them. There’s such, still visceral hatred for the Clintons or the Obamas that we're not them and if you say anything disparaging about the president or you don't condone every bit behavior then you're with them.
BEHAR: I see.
FLAKE: It's become that way. That's really affecting our politics in negative ways. We have huge issues we've got to solve that will only be solved if both parties agree to share the credit and more importantly share the political risk. We’re just not doing it.