"You don't think this president is good for the country, do you?”
Republican Senator Jeff Flake (Arizona) appeared on Tuesday’s Hardball to promote his new book Conscience of a Conservative, and host Chris Matthews felt that familiar thrill up his leg at the thought that Flake’s book hits the GOP and President Trump hard, according to Newsbusters.
Matthews introduced the interview by referring to Flake as "the most outspoken Republican critic of president Donald Trump. And he makes it clear he blames his own party for enabling Trump's rise to power. Well, with the title borrowed from former Senator Barry Goldwater, the book is called Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle."
Flake played up the comparison to Goldwater:
Barry Goldwater in 1960 thought that the conservative party, the Republican Party had been compromised by the New Deal. And so he wrote Conscience of a Conservative. I think today we've been compromised by other forces. Protectionism, you know, populism, and I don’t think those bode well in the long term. That’s not a government policy.
Matthews gushed that he’s “fascinated with how tough you are on Donald Trump”:
Very hard hitting on Trump. "Demagoguery" is the word you used. Populism, protectionism, you used all the tough words and you don’t like them. You don't think this President is good for the country, do you?
Flake conceded that he thinks Trump has made “great...cabinet picks” yet “where I think that he's profoundly unconservative is on things like free trade.” He went on to tell an eager Matthews that Trump is not a conservative. "Conservative foreign policy ought to be measured and deliberate and sober and that's not what we have today."
Matthews waxed enthusiastic about the book. “I think it is a tough, well-written book and I just want to keep you to it. Anyway, a portion of your book focuses on conservative conspiracy theories and the recent spread of fake news. Most notably, you criticized those who pushed the false notion that Barack Obama wasn't born in the U.S.”
“To me, the original sin was saying Barack Obama was born in Kenya or whatever and denying he was a legitimate President, calling him sort of a con-artist. That was, to me, racist in its nature, to claim the guy’s not a true American when he was clearly, to make fun of his documentation to say he was sort of an illegal immigrant. I think you're dead right on that. I don't understand why your party went along with it,” an appreciative Matthews added.
Matthews went on to read two excerpts from the book, then declared that Flake’s book contained the “same principles” as Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative. He also predicted that “everybody’s going to talk about this book” seeing as how “it’s a tough, hard-hitting book” and “very compelling.”
Thanks but no thanks, Chris. We think conservatives should spend more time combatting the left than undermining a Republican President, so we'll pass on Flake's unhelpful book.