FYI: Jeff Flake’s Retirement Exposes Deep Civil War Within the AZGOP

Regardless of nominee, AZGOP must face record of taking away healthcare, selling off private information, and prospect of raising taxes for hardworking families

PHOENIX -- Jeff Flake yesterday announced his retirement from the United States Senate after just one term in the upper chamber -- and the ensuing scramble of potential GOP candidates scurrying to replace him further exposed the deep rift and outright civil war within the Arizona Republican Party.

But no matter how the AZGOP tries to spin this, Republicans must still face the fact that Arizonans are fed up with the partisan discord in Washington. This includes the choice to put private information of Arizonans up for sale, the attempt to cut healthcare for more than 400,000 Arizonans and force their premiums to skyrocket, and the start of a process to raise taxes on middle-class Arizona families.

Take a look at the coverage that highlights the heap of trouble the AZGop is in for the U.S. Senate race.

Summarized Coverage Highlighting Civil War Within the AZGOP

Arizona Republic: “The senator acknowledged he faced a daunting Republican primary because of a shift in the GOP, which has embraced Trump's combative, nationalist, America-first approach. He told The Arizona Republic on Tuesday that ‘there may not be a place for a Republican like me in the current Republican climate or the current Republican Party.’”

Arizona Republic: “In his speech, Flake said he doubted that there was room in today’s Republican Party for a traditional conservative such as himself…” [...]

“Jeff Flake is a good, decent, honest and honorable man. The space for such people in American politics has always been small. Trump is making it even smaller.”

Arizona Daily Sun: “In a speech on the Senate floor, the state's junior senator decried what he said has been "the indecency of our discourse" and "the coarseness of our leadership."

And he chided members of his own Republican Party for standing silent in the name of party loyalty or fear of drawing a primary challenge.”

USA Today: “Jeff Flake's retirement signals a change in the Republican Party and rise of the Steve Bannon wing”

“Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake is leaving Congress because the kind of conservatism he champions no longer seems welcome in Steve Bannon's GOP.” [...]

“Flake became a key target of Bannon and his band of anti-establishment allies, who have vowed to put up candidates against any senator — in either party — who was hampering Trump’s agenda or was too close to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Wall Street Journal: “The fault lines within the Republican Party cracked further on Tuesday as feuding between President Donald Trump and senators intensified within the U.S. Capitol, and anti-establishment activists claimed political momentum outside of it.”

“The criticism highlighted an escalating battle for control of the party between its elected leaders and activists, including former White House adviser Steve Bannon, who has pledged to wage “war” on GOP incumbents.”

Politico: “Steve Bannon adds another scalp to his collection,” said Andy Surabian, a senior advisor to the pro-Trump nonprofit Great America Alliance and a top ally of Bannon’s...Establishment Republicans said they hoped Flake’s retirement would increase their chances of defeating Ward, allowing them to unite behind an establishment candidate without a history of attacking the president, who remains sacrosanct with GOP primary voters.”

Breitbart:Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) faced another blow to his leadership…” [...]

McConnell’s leadership continues to flounder; a recent poll revealed that 56 percent of Republicans want Mitch McConnell to resign. Many Senate Republican candidates revealed that they are reluctant to back McConnell for Majority Leader.”

Washington Examiner: “Steve Bannon bolstered by Flake retirement: 'Allies of McConnell beware'”

Roll Call:The Arizona Republican took to the Senate floor to decry the state of political discourse, the leadership of President Donald Trump and the future of conservatism.” [...]

His retirement plans — and what he said on the Senate floor — raised deep questions about the state of the GOP and also shakes up a hotly contested Senate race.”