Jeff Flake Laments That the GOP Didn’t Stand Up to the Birther Movement


Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has made waves of late over his new book, ‘Conscience of a Conservative,” and the amount of criticism he’s directed to President Donald Trump and the Republican Party in general.

During an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, Flake said one of his regrets over the past few years is that the GOP didn’t do enough to stem the tide of birtherism. Regarding the conspiracy theory that former President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States, Flake told host Chuck Todd that this was an example of Republicans placing party over country.

“Well, I do think that we’ve seen more people ready to stand up,” Flake stated. “And I wish that we, as a party, would have stood up, for example, when the birtherism thing was going along. A lot of people did stand up but not enough.”

When Todd pressed him on whether he thought he’d done enough to stand up to birtherism, Flake said he thought he had. According to Washington Post’s Dave Weigel, that may not exactly be the case:

Of course, Trump was one of the most vocal proponents of the birther movement, using it to jumpstart his national political career back in 2011. It was only late in the 2016 presidential campaign that he admitted Obama was born in the US.

However, despite Flake’s criticism of the GOP, he let Todd know that he had not thought about leaving the party, stating that he’s a “proud Republican.”

Watch the clip above, via NBC News.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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