Jeff Flake has had some good moments in his career as a U.S. senator, but as he runs out the clock on his final term in office, he seems more interested in endearing himself to liberals — or just positioning himself for a presidential run in 2020:

Anyway, here’s what he said:

Flake was responding specifically to Trump’s remarks about Democrats who didn’t stand and applaud him during his State of the Union Address:

“It got to a point where I really didn’t even want to look too much during the speech over to that side because honestly it was bad energy. It was bad energy,” he said at a manufacturing plant a Cincinnati suburb.

“You’re up there, you’ve got half the room going totally crazy wild, they loved everything, they want to do something great for our country. And you have the other side even on positive news, really positive news like that, they were like death and un-American. Un-American.”

Appearing to play off the crowd, he added: “Somebody said ‘treasonous.’ I mean, yeah, I guess, why not? Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.”

Were Trump’s remarks stupid? Well, yeah. Did they suggest he needs to brush up on what qualifies as “un-American”? Definitely. But Trump’s tone-deafness or ignorance doesn’t exactly constitute the “tragedy” Flake says it does.

No, it isn’t a punchline. Unfortunately, Flake is at risk of becoming one himself.