September 20, 2021, 18:19

6 key quotes from Sen. Jeff Flake’s speech blasting Trump

6 key quotes from Sen. Jeff Flake’s speech blasting Trump

On Tuesday, Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona became the latest politician to question the health of American democracy in the age of Trump. In a speech announcing he would not seek reelection in 2018, Flake delivered a searing rebuke of Trump and blasted members of his own party for failing to speak out against the president.

The speech seems likely to become part of Flake’s political legacy. You can read the full transcript here, but here are six of the most memorable lines:

Flake decries the “indecency of our discourse and the coarseness of our leadership”

From the beginning of his speech, the Arizona senator did not mince his words and started by calling America’s leadership “coarse” and national discourse “indecent” under the Trump presidency:

He warns against a “new normal”

Flake warned against this kind of behavior becoming common in Washington politics, and described it as unhelpful to American voters:

He jabs directly at President Trump’s behavior

Several times throughout his speech, Flake addressed Trump directly. And throughout, he decried Trump’s behavior and said it has a chilling effect on a healthy democracy:

Flake makes an appeal to his fellow Republicans

In addition to his indictment of the president, Flake also castigated his Republican colleagues for not doing more to speak up against Trump, and said that past excuses for Trump’s behavior from lawmakers can no longer be believed:

He says Trump’s tweets are a threat to the “stability of the entire world”

As fellow Republican Sen. Bob Corker has done, Flake talked about a very real concern among Republicans and Democrats alike that Trump is too unstable to lead, and that the president’s social media outbursts could have extreme real-world consequences. Earlier this month, Corker said that Trump’s threats could “start World War III,” and Flake echoed that sentiment in his speech on Tuesday:

He questions his place in the current Republican Party

Flake was not shy about criticizing the members of his own party for, as he put it, abandoning their core principles and forgetting about the people they were elected to serve. He called on his fellow Republicans to return to the party’s core values rather than support Trump’s brand of politics:


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