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GOP senator says Obama's tone on immigration issues is better than Trump's

President Donald Trump speaks during a lunch meeting with Republican members of the Senate, including US Senator Jeff Flake (R), Republican of Arizona, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, December 5, 2017. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona has called President Donald Trump's immigration rhetoric "sickening" and went so far as to say he believes former President Barack Obama's tone on the issue has been better, according to CNN.

Flake, who is leaving the Senate at the end of this term, said he is cheering for some Democrats this election, and he doesn't like the emphasis Trump is placing on immigration in his closing rallies.

"I certainly don't like the tone President Trump has taken with regard to blaming immigrants, and having that ad, which I thought was just sickening, and frankly very untrue with regard to the threat that is posed by illegal immigrants." Flake told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

Blitzer responded by observing that Flake appeared to be more in line with Obama's immigration views than Trump's, to which Flake chuckled and said "Well certainly the tone. I've always felt that the tone was better."

Flake said Republicans should be running on the strength of the economy rather than "fear-mongering" about immigration.

The Arizona senator also pushed back against those who say Democrats are standing in the way of improving the nation's immigration policies and laws, referencing a previous bipartisan agreement that allocated billions to border security.

"The last real vote we had on substantial immigration reform was the bipartisan bill that we did in 2013," Flake said. "Every Democrat in the Senate voted for that bill, which included about $41 billion for additional border security. That's more than the president has even asked for on border security.

"So this notion that this is all the Democrats' fault is just wrong," Flake concluded.

Flake's comments run counter to the message Trump is emphasizing as Election Day approaches, with issues such as birthright citizenship and Central American migrant caravans taking precedence in the media.

Even though Republicans appear to be in serious danger of losing control of the House of Representatives and only hold a very narrow majority in the Senate, Flake said he is supporting some Democrats in their races, including the Democratic challenger to Rep. Steve King in Iowa, J.D. Scholten.

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