MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said in the wake of Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeBiden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Biden to nominate Jane Hartley as UK ambassador: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Voting rights will be on '22, '24 ballots MORE's (R-Ariz.) retirement announcement that Americans are witnessing "the political suicide" of the Republican Party, "where you are losing guys who are temperamentally moderate."
"From John McCainJohn Sidney McCainWhoopi Goldberg signs four-year deal with ABC to stay on 'The View' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Meghan McCain: Country has not 'healed' from Trump under Biden MORE, George W. Bush, to Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her MORE, Jeff Flake yesterday, these are Republicans who felt the need and are compelled to come and reaffirm, not just conservative values, but American values, and say ... what’s happening right now is not who we are," observed "Morning Joe" co-host Willie Geist early Wednesday. "I don't know, have we seen anything like this? Nine months, 10 months into a presidency where members of his own party are coming out like this, lining up to criticize him this way?"
"You haven't," Scarborough, a former GOP congressman-turned-independent, replied. "And what you’re seeing here — let's make no mistake of it. What we are seeing here is the political suicide, it's the coming in of the Republican Party where you are losing guys who are temperamentally moderate."
"And the question is, what happens to the Republicans who remain there?" Scarborough later asked. "Do they really give Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE a standing ovation yesterday after saying he was a threat to the Constitution every day behind the scenes?"
Scarborough went on to call Flake's speech on Tuesday condemning Trump perhaps "one of the most significant speeches on the Senate floor in decades."
Flake told The Arizona Republic on Tuesday that running in the Republican primary would force him to "condone behavior that I cannot condone."
"The path that I would have to travel to get the Republican nomination is a path I'm not willing to take, and that I can't in good conscience take," Flake said. "It would require me to believe in positions I don't hold on such issues as trade and immigration and it would require me to condone behavior that I cannot condone."