Dropping ‘Big Lie’ a good first step toward compromise, says former Arizona senator

Dec 6, 2021, 6:55 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — Congressional partisans need let-bygones-be-bygones, drop festering animosity about the “Big Lie” and move on toward striking compromise, says a former Republican senator. 

Former Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, who will be sworn in Tuesday as ambassador to Turkey, talked with Inside Sources host Boyd Matheson about what needs to be done to move politics rutted in the past to getting important problems resolved for the country.

Look forward to find middle ground, avoid the Big Lie

Flake served in Congress for 18 years (2001-2019). He said he was concerned about the direction the nation is heading politically.

“I think the biggest thing facing the country is not any individual issue. But the failure to get together and work on these issues,” said Flake.

The good faith needed from both sides to solve problems has been in short supply for a while, he said.

“What do you hope happens here in the States — we won’t call it exile — while you’re far away?” Boyd asked.

“Congress is far more divided than ever,” he said.

He added while he is out of the country, he hopes the two political parties can come together and compromise.

“And in particular, my party, the Republican Party. This is a center-right country. I’m convinced . . . I remain convinced of that. And if we as Republicans can chart that course, without looking backwards on old elections, we will be far better off.”

A Big Lie

Flake said if the election choice is between a Republican who promotes the “Big Lie” that the last presidential election was stolen or a Democrat he disagrees with on fiscal policy and the size of government, “I would still walk on hot coals to vote for the Democrat because we simply have to get away from the kind of politics we’ve been practicing as Republicans.”

He said the country can survive the swinging of the political pendulum, but not failure to accept free and fair elections.

“And particularly as I go overseas and see how the world views the US, we really have to get back to first principles,” Flake said.

Politicians who go head-to-head with opponents on one topic one day will need those same people on another topic on another day. And that is missing from Washington, D.C., today, Boyd said.

Don’t bust the filibuster

Flake said he hopes any Democratic efforts to dismantle the filibuster fail.

“It really is one of the few mechanisms still left that forces the parties to work together,” he said.

Restoring compromise

The former senator said while running for re-election he would print brochures touting his work with Democrats, which he said used to earn him plaudits or praise.

“It’s become almost a badge of honor in an election in some circles to say ‘No, I won’t work with the other side,'” Flake said. “When you’re in a legislative body, you’ve got to reach agreement.”


Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

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Dropping ‘Big Lie’ a good first step toward compromise, says former Arizona senator