Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) on Thursday called on the local Republican party in Maricopa County, Ariz., to pull its sponsorship of a campaign event for Donald Trump due to his recent comments about Mexican immigrants.
“As an elected official and as a Republican, I’m not excited about this, to say the least,” Flake told the Washington Post. “I don’t think that [Trump’s] views are reflective of the party, particularly in Arizona, a border state.”
Flake said that Trump’s comments calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” and drug dealers were “ill-informed” and “not accurate.”
The senator was also troubled by Trump’s recent remark that he wasn’t sure whether President Obama was born in the U.S.
“It’s not just on the immigration side. Donald Trump is just about the last unapologetic birther in the country,” Flake told the Post.
Trump is set to appear at a Saturday campaign event alongside conservative Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who Flake noted is also an “unapologetic birther.”
Following Flake’s comments, Tyler Bowyer, the chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Party, issued a statement saying that the party is “thrilled” to play host to Trump and blasting Flake for criticizing a fellow Republican.
“It is saddening that at a time when Republicans should be exposing the negligence and failed policies of Democrats — from sanctuary cities to DACA and catch-and-release to Obama’s refusal to secure the border — some Republicans choose to instead gossip about which GOP presidential candidate was invited to meet with voters in their home county,” Bowyer said in a statement, according to the Post.