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Jeff Flake: GOP has 'crying need' for courageous Republican to challenge Trump in 2020

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who is retiring this year, said Sunday there is a "crying need" in GOP for Republican to challenge Trump in 2020. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said Sunday the nation needs a Republican with the courage to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020.

Flake, who is retiring from Congress at the conclusion of his term this year, made his comments during an interview on CNN's "State of the Union."

What did Flake say?

According to Flake, there is a "crying need" for a Republican to challenge Trump in the next presidential election, not only because Trump's policies aren't conservative, but because his behavior isn't "decent."

"I hope that somebody does challenge the president," Flake said.

He explained: "What I'm seeing is that there is a crying need out there for some Republicans to stand up and say, 'This is not normal, this is not right. We want Republican who will take higher ground.'"

Citing Trump's recent action on tariffs, Flake said Republicans and conservatives are disillusioned with Trump's policies and his behavior as commander-in-chief.

"People want to remember the Republican party as the decent party. And it is not right now," Flake said.

Who might challenge Trump?

Some believe Flake, who announced his retirement in a speech on the Senate floor that assailed Trump, is preparing himself to challenge Trump in the 2020 GOP primary.

During a speech in New Hampshire last week, the state where the first primary is held each presidential election, Flake reiterated his belief the GOP needs a courageous Republican to challenge an unhinged Trump. He also said he hasn't "ruled out" the possibility of that Republican being him.

"I don't know who it will be — I think the odds that I will are long, but I've not ruled it out," Flake said.

Another potential challenger is Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who finished second in the 2016 GOP primary. Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Ben Sasse (Neb.) are also very popular with conservatives and moderate Republicans and may take a stab at the White House in the future.

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