August 7, 2016

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake tells Face the Nation host John Dickerson that Donald Trump could lose his home state in the general election. If Hispanic voters come out in droves to vote against Trump, he very well may be right.

As of now the polls are neck and neck, with the HuffPost Pollster’s average showing them within a tenth of a percent.

Here's Flake, who has yet to endorse Trump, on CBS' Face the Nation this Sunday, with a bit of wishful thinking that there's still a snowball's chance in hell we're going to see some sort of "pivot" from Trump or that he'll suddenly soften his rhetoric between now and the election.

DICKERSON: One of the arguments supporters of Donald Trump say is that if he were in office he would be there to sign what Paul Ryan has put forward, what Republicans have put forward, and that he'd be ready to do it. So why isn't that a good argument for his candidacy with all those policies Republicans want to see passed? They'd have a willing partner in Donald Trump.

FLAKE: That would certainly be great, but I would argue that he simply can't get there. You can't go on and get 65 million votes -- he's only received about 14 million votes in the primaries so far. To get from 14 to 65 or so, you've got to take more responsible positions with regard to policy and you also have to change the tone and tenor, and if none of us on the Republican side are pushing back and saying that needs to change, then I don't believe he will change. And he has to change if he's going to win that election and we're going to get the policy that we need in the White House.

DICKERSON: You mentioned tone and tenor, so let's stick with the alliteration. A lot of people bring up temperament. What does that mean to you in terms of Donald Trump's candidacy?

FLAKE: Well, when you have somebody who says what he said to this Gold Star family, when he's made misstatements with regard to Hispanic Americans -- there are a number of other statements, with regard to women, these things have to change. You can't go on and expect that you can be President of the United States when you make statements like that. That's why some of us I believe need to push back and say that we need a more responsible campaign and we haven't seen it so far.

DICKERSON: You mentioned Arizona and some of the effects of what Mr. Trump said on voters in that state. So is there any chance that Hillary Clinton could win in Arizona?

FLAKE: In 1996 Bill Clinton won in Arizona, so yes, it is possible. You know, the Hispanic population here is about 33 percent. The voting population among Hispanics isn’t as large, but it is growing. And the poll also showed that there is an increased urgency among Hispanics to vote. And if they do, then it will be a changed ballgame here.

We in Arizona realize that we have to have meaningful immigration reform. You can’t just throw platitudes out about a wall or about Mexico paying for it and be taken seriously here. So I think that yes, he does have to change his positions and be a more serious candidate.

Dickerson failed to remind Flake that throwing out platitudes about building a wall was exactly what we saw from his buddy John McCain not that long ago.

From the man who also chose Sarah Palin to be his running mate. That's their idea of a "serious candidate." Sorry Jeff, but when it comes to Trump and his race baiting and driving your party off of a cliff, you and your fellow Republicans built that.

I just hope he's right about Trump losing Arizona.

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