Flake On Decision: 'I've Got To Sleep At Night, Look My Kids In The Eye'

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - 5:17pm
Updated: Friday, October 27, 2017 - 11:27am
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Jeff Flake.

A day after Sen. Jeff Flake’s surprise announcement that he is retiring at the end of his term, he says it was not an easy decision to make. 

Flake stands by his decision to retire from his seat after a forceful speech on the Senate floor where he chided his fellow Republicans and the president for their actions.

Flake typically votes with Donald Trump, but the remarks focused on the president’s character and language rather than his policy.

Critics say Flake is leaving without a fight after polls show he was behind his leading opponent. But he says it’s all a matter of principle.

“To be competitive, you’ve got to run a kind of race I’m not comfortable running," he said. "I’ve got to sleep at night, look my kids in the eye and I can’t see, given the way the electorate looks to be looking at candidates right now, I simply can’t do it.”

Flake says his plans after the Senate are to be determined, but that the decision to leave wasn’t an easy one.

“It’s tough leaving. It’s tough for a job that you like and feel you’re making a difference with, it’s tough to go," he said.

Early polls showed Flake would have had a tough race. He said he is happy with his choice to leave.

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