Democrats and Media Agree: Jeff Flake Is the Coolest

October 26, 2017

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake's (Ariz.) announcement Tuesday that he would not seek a second term amid a stern denunciation of President Donald Trump earned high praise from Democrats and members of the media.

Flake condemned Trump's personal conduct and what he described as a normalization of the coarsening of American politics in a blistering speech from the Senate floor, saying "enough" and adding he would not be "complicit" by staying silent.

Several CNN hosts called it a "passionate speech," and CNN host Brooke Baldwin called it an "extraordinary moment in American politics."

"It's hard to remember a speech that is as honest and kind of laid bare the underlying issues of our politics of the time that we're living through than a speech like this," CNN analyst Gloria Borger said, adding it was a "just a breathtaking cri de coeur."

CNN political analyst Mark Preston called it "historic" and said "this is the type of speech that I think tomorrow should be shown, should be listened to by every high school civics class, politics class, history class."

"This was the end of a movie," MSNBC host and former Republican Joe Scarborough said. "This was our Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."

Scarborough added Flake had impeccable credentials as "the conservative's conservative."

Fellow MSNBC host Chris Matthews said it reminded him of the political thriller "Advise and Consent" and was something "straight from a great novel or movie."

He also called the speech a "beautiful piece of literature" and would go down in political history as the "speech of his life."

MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace said the speech "could not have been more powerful," Steve Schmidt called the speech "remarkable," and MSNBC's Kasie Hunt said Flake came from the Republican Party's "human decency wing."

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.) called Flake a man of "tremendous integrity," and Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) said Flake and Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker (R.) were "senators of real conscience."