Jeff Flake Won’t Run for President in 2020, Will Join CBS News as Contributor

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., a member
J Scott Applewhite/AP/REX/Shutte

WASHINGTON — Jeff Flake, the former U.S. senator from Arizona, said that he will not run for president in 2020. He will be joining CBS News as a contributor.

There had been speculation that Flake, a Republican, could challenge President Donald Trump for the GOP nomination next year. Flake was perhaps the most vocal GOP critic of the president, delivering speeches that chided Trump for his attacks on the press and feuds with Gold Star families, among other things.

“I’ve always said that I do hope that there is a Republican who challenges the president in the primary,” Flake said on “CBS This Morning.” “I still hope that somebody does, but that somebody won’t be me. I will not be a candidate.”

He said that “there really isn’t a path that I could see, certainly not unless you are willing to be out there already raising a lot of money. And then to basically living on the road right not. It is a difficult path anyway.”

He also said that the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee “are no melded” and they are “trying to do everything they can to squelch any opposition.”

Flake’s first project for CBS News will be a series of reports called “Common Ground,” where people work to solve critical issues.

In 2014, Flake joined with Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) on a Discovery reality series called “Rival Survival,” in which they were placed on a remote island for six days and six nights.