Sen. Jeff Flake: Donald Trump needs conservative 2020 challenger

Adjust Comment Print

Democratic US Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has traded barbs with President Donald Trump, said on Sunday she's "not afraid of tariffs", but stopped short of endorsing his decision to launch steep tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., listens to a question from a reporter before a Senate procedural vote to reopen the government, Monday Jan. 22, 2018, on day three of the government shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington. Mr Trump's tariffs, announced on Thursday and expected to take effect on March 24, "will not trigger a crisis or an explosion in the US-UAE relationship", said Danny Sebright, President of the US-UAE Business Council. It would be a tough go in a Republican primary.

Trump's tariffs, which he announced last Thursday, were met with swift opposition from numerous president's fellow Republicans who say they will harm the economy. "Somebody who voices, you know, reservations about where the president is or criticizes his behavior ... it's tough to be re-elected in a Republican primary".

The next presidential election is still more than two years away, and despite a strong economy, President Trump could see a primary challenge coming from a member of his own party looking to unseat the commander in chief.

But Flake says "that's not to say it will stay that way".

He added: "I also think that there will be an independent challenge, particularly if the Democrats insist on putting somebody up from the far left of the party". "We need a comprehensive rethinking of our trade policy". "I think we're going completely the wrong direction, " he said. But Democrats have struck a more measured tone, as many members of the party's progressive wing have always been critical of free trade agreements they believe harm USA workers. "The problem is when you say, "Let's have tariffs, but let's couple that with uncertainty" - that's nearly worse, " Flake said. "We should not normalize this behavior'".