Babeu says he has not decided whether he will back Flake in the primary. He said he would not rule it out, and sounded willing to accept Flake's move to the right.
"It's important that we buttonhole these leaders and tell them exactly how we feel, and if they improve their positions, terrific," he said.
"There's definitely going to be a primary," Babeu cautioned. "I haven't weighed in on the race. I'm remaining neutral at this time."
We've written before about the possibility
of Flake repeating the McCain 2010 model this cycle. His flip on immigration was reminiscent of McCain's move to the right. Had Rep. Trent Franks
(R) entered the race, Flake would surely have been pressed by Franks on his prior views on immigration.
But with Franks out of the picture, it's not clear who else will emerge as a credible GOP threat to Flake, leaving the dynamic of the primary uncertain. (Former Rep. Matt Salmon
's name has been floated by some Arizona Republican.) Still, having Babeu on his side would be a boost for Flake's chances, no matter what the situation. He will undoubtedly be attacked for changing his views by whoever runs against him.