JONATHAN KARL: But you are open to running for president in 2020.
FLAKE: I don’t rule anything out, but it’s not in my plans.
KARL: It’s coming up by the way.
FLAKE: (LAUGHS) It is.
KARL: Would you be more likely to run for the Republican nomination against the president, or as an independent candidate?
FLAKE: Like I said, I haven’t thought that deeply about it. But I do believe if the president is running for reelection, if he continues on the path that he’s on, that that’s gonna leave a huge swath of voters looking for something else.
KARL: So you’re saying if he is the Republican nominee again, we’re likely to see an independent candidate, whether or not it’s you …
FLAKE: Oh yes, I think he’s inviting that. He’s probably inviting a Republican challenge as well. But certainly an independent challenge, yes.
KARL: What would it take for you to leave the Republican Party? I mean you’ve already been as harshly critical of your party’s president as you really can be.
FLAKE: Well, I can say that you know the fact that Roy Moore lost his election is a good sign, that maybe the Republican Party, maybe we can turn back, but if we continue to go down that path, just to drill down on the base, then I think you’ll have a lot of people realize there’s no future for them in this party. I know a lot of them. Some are family members. Some are you know Republicans I’ve known for a long time who’ve been lifelong Republicans, who simply say this is not my party, this is not where I want to go. But I hope, like I said, that with the election results in Alabama that maybe the party’s realizing, we’ve gotta change.