Retiring Republicans Warn Party to Be ‘Prepared for the Worst’

Tom Howell Jr., Washington Times, December 24, 2017

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Sen. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican, offered a blunt assessment of GOP rallies in the age of President Trump, saying they look like the “spasms of a dying party.”

“When you look at the lack of diversity sometimes, and it depends on where you are obviously but, by and large, we’re appealing to older white men and there are just a limited number of them, and anger and resentment are not a governing philosophy,” Mr. Flake told ABC’s “This Week.” “So you have to actually govern and do something.”

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Democrats and progressives have pointed to recent victories in Virginia, New Jersey and Alabama as a preview of the anti-Trump backlash they’ll be banking on to retake the House and possibly the Senate, despite a tough 2018 map.

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Either way, he thinks the party is running into headwinds. Mr. Trump’s approval ratings are low, while a primary system that rewards extreme candidates is taking a toll, the congressman said, citing the Alabama U.S. Senate seat, which Republicans lost after their primary process nominated Roy Moore.

“A lot of these people, they’re not about expanding the base,” he said, saying politics and elections are about “addition, not subtraction. Inclusion, not exclusion.”

Mr. Flake, {snip} aid the fate of Mr. Moore — dogged by extreme views and claims he pursued teenage girls in his 30s — should serve as a warning to Republicans who ally themselves with Mr. Bannon and his philosophy.

“I hope it’s being marginalized, the last thing we need is to push that ultra-nationalist, ethno-nationalist, protectionist kind of element of the party,” Mr. Flake said. “That’s not good for us.”

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