Some GOP activists are eager to stop party rivals from taking on — and possibly weakening — President Trump. But it appears to be too late to make changes for 2020.
The decision comes after Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, who had been a temporary replacement after John McCain's death in August, announced last week he would step down at the end of the year.
Arizona Republican Joe Arpaio, the former Maricopa County sheriff who became famous for his controversial stance on immigration, says he wants to join Congress so he can help President Trump.
The president blames the so-called diversity visa program sponsored by the New York Democrat for allowing an accused terrorist into the country.
Sen. Jeff Flake, the Arizona Republican who announced his retirement on Tuesday in a fiery speech denouncing the president, tells Morning Edition "the pivot we all hoped for isn't coming."
A recent presidential tweet called Flake "WEAK" and "toxic." Flake says Trump and his supporters "have given in to the politics of anger."
The GOP has "given in to the politics of anger—the belief that riling up the base can make up for failed attempts to broaden the electorate," the senator says. "These are the spasms of a dying party."