Gov. Ducey stops short of defending Sen. Flake against Trump attacks

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, unlike other high profile Republicans, did not defend Sen. Jeff Flake against sharp attacks made by President Donald Trump. 

"The president is going to say what he's going to say about different people in elective office what I want to see is the United States Senate move reforms forward," Ducey said Wednesday.  

The governor's statements come one day after a Trump rally in Phoenix where the president, once again, slammed Flake, and Sen. John McCain, without naming them. 

[RELATED: Without mentioning names, President Trump slams Arizona's two senators]

During his speech, Trump accused Flake of being weak on immigration and crime. 

Trump kept up his broadsides on Wednesday, posting on Twitter, "Phoenix crowd last night was amazing - a packed house. I love the Great State of Arizona. Not a fan of Jeff Flake, weak on crime & border!" 

"I have a good relationship with our two senators and I intend to continue that," Ducey said Wednesday of McCain and Flake. 

[RELATED: Trump hints a possible pardon for Arpaio, ex-sheriff responds]

Ducey's reaction marks a distinct contrast from House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, who criticized Trump for his attacks in fellow Republicans. 

“I think the president feels that's a strategy that works for him,” Ryan told The Hill. “I would just say that I think it’s important that we all stay unified as Republicans to complete our agenda.”

[RAW VIDEO: Gov. Ducey reacts to President Trump's Phoenix speech]

Ryan then said this about Flake and McCain, “Those two gentlemen are people I respect, know, like and are friends with. We disagree on certain issues. I can think of a couple with those gentlemen. But nevertheless, we have a very good working relationship."

The feud between Trump and Flake date back to the 2016 election in which the Arizona senator criticized the New York businessman numerous times. 

[RELATED: Trump's NAFTA termination comment falls flat in Arizona]

Flake recently published a book denouncing Trump and his supporters. That led to the president to fire back by touting Flake's primary challenger and calling him "toxic." 

Following that shot, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, tweeted, "Arizonans are well-served by the principled leadership of @JeffFlake."

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Politics]

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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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