Flake formally endorses Biden: ‘We need a president who summons our better angels’
Former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) gave his formal endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden during a livestream event Monday after announcing his support for the Democratic presidential nominee earlier in the day.
The frequent Trump critic decried the president’s conduct before and after his election.
“It is apparent by now the president’s behavior has not and will not change,” Flake said. “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 … indifference to the truth or to the careful stewardship of the institutions of American liberty is not conservative.”
“Governing by tweet is not conservative, it’s not even governing,” he added.
Flake, who retired from the Senate in 2019, also blasted President Trump’s attacks on the judiciary, intervention in cases involving associates and his comments on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
It was the honor of my life to represent my state, Arizona – in the United States House and Senate for eighteen years as a conservative. I’m here to talk about the future – both of my party, but more importantly, the future of our country: https://t.co/pxBUFqj9jA
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) August 24, 2020
Flake, who often criticized Trump before he left Congress last year, has said he voted for a third-party candidate in 2016. On Monday, he addressed his 2016 vote.
“Given what we have experienced over the past four years, it’s not enough just to register our disapproval of the president, we need to elect someone else in his place,” Flake said.
He called “putting country over party” a practice with a “noble history” in Arizona and pointed to former Sen. Barry Goldwater’s (R-Ariz.) endorsement of Rep. Karan English (D-Ariz.) in the 1992 election.
“Goldwater hadn’t traded in his conservative credentials, far from it — he simply believed that in that case, the conservative cause would be better served over the long term if the Democrat prevailed, and that’s what I believe today in this election,” Flake said.
Flake said that as president, Biden would “reach across the aisle because that’s what he’s done his entire career.”
“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,” he added.
Flake and several other former GOP members of Congress announced their endorsement of Biden earlier Monday.