While appearing on “The Lead” on Tuesday, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) made clear that he wouldn't support controversial former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who just announced he would run to replace Flake after he leaves office.
“No, no, no, no. Not at all,” Flake told CNN host Jake Tapper when he asked if Flake would back Arpaio. “That's not our best foot forward as Republicans,” Flake added.
In an interview published Tuesday, the 85-year-old Arpaio said that while running, he would continue fighting for what he's most known for — tough immigration enforcement.
President Donald Trump pardoned Arpaio last year after a judge ruled he violated a court order against rounding up individuals he suspected were illegally in the United States.
“Being a U.S. senator is a little different than being the sheriff, because you can do a lot of things in the U.S. Senate, and I have many plans, believe me,” Arpaio said.
But according to Flake, Arpaio likely won't realize those plans because his Senate run “won't go very far.”
“There has hardly been an election cycle — you know, from the early 90s — that Sheriff Joe hasn't talked about running statewide,” Flake told Tapper. “He floats it out there for a while and then pulls back. So I don't expect that that will go very far.”
But Trump's backing might give Arpaio the extra bump he needs to succeed in Arizona's Senate race.
While Trump has enthusiastically supported Arpaio, he attacked Flake after a hot mic caught the Arizona senator calling the Republican Party “toast” with Trump and former Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore as its primary representatives:
Sen. Jeff Flake(y), who is unelectable in the Great State of Arizona (quit race, anemic polls) was caught (purposely) on “mike” saying bad things about your favorite President. He’ll be a NO on tax cuts because his political career anyway is “toast.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2017
In October, Flake ripped the president on the Senate floor when he announced he would not seek re-election in 2018. “Mr. President, I rise today to say, enough,” Flake said before calling for “a return to civility and stability.”
Watch Flake's interview below, via CNN.