The latest debate among Arizona Republicans put the “cray” in crazy. From aliens to mules to voting machines, the primary debate in the race to be the Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee left viewers asking – is this real?
You watch this clip from Arizona and another on my feed from Wyoming, and wonder whether there was a "stupid virus" affecting Republicans that Dr. Fauci never reported on. Another #GOP debate that appears to be #SNL, but isn't. https://t.co/o2JWue49zZ
— Charles Adler (@charlesadler) July 2, 2022
In a real-life “art imitating life” moment, PBS 8’s host, Ted Simons remained enviably calm, as he listened to candidates Scott Neely, Kari Lake, and Paola Tulliani Zen spout conspiracy theories and nonsense. The fourth candidate, Karrin Taylor Robson, seemed the only one on the stage not pushing some brand of Republican insanity. She was also the only one not to raise her hand when the Trump-backed frontrunner Kari Lake said, “I’d actually like to ask everybody on this stage if they would agree, we had a corrupt stolen election? Raise your hand.”
Lake continued to push the baseless claim that so-called “mules” trafficked over 200,000 ballots in Arizona — all despite hand counts, multiple independent investigations, including one confirming that Dominion Voting machines are not linked to the internet, and millions of dollars entertaining election deniers — debunking those claims.
Lake also insinuated that if she doesn’t win, then cheating would have to be involved, saying, “They are going to have to cheat even harder to try and win this.”
The only male – and the least known person on the panel – Scott Neely, has campaigned as the middle-class Governor with a “spine made of copper.” Neely vowed to take on the “elite,” like his opponent Kari Lake, and said he’ll rule like DeSantis – though he misspells the Florida Governor’s name.
The entire USA knows I will be the next Arizona Governor and govern much like DiSantis and Noem. This Jack is finally out of the box in Arizona. pic.twitter.com/EkrZEXmZ8P
— Scott Neely for Arizona (@ScottNeelyAZ) July 1, 2022
When Paola Tulliani chimed in about being pro-life “from conception to death,” Simons asked the candidate if there should exceptions for rape or incest. Tulliani walked it back, saying, in contradiction to a lot of anti-abortion Republicans and more in line with abortion-rights activists that it’s a “personal decision.”
Neely on the other hand wonders why we can’t treat human lives like we would alien life on Mars.
Robson was the odd person out on the stage, with her opponents hogging the debate. Each pushing their own brand of propaganda – whether it was about the election being stolen, or the right to choose. While not as vocal as her GOP counterparts in pushing the “Big Lie,” Robson has stated that she believes the “elections weren’t fair.” And accuses the media and the left of suppressing conservative voices.
Scott Neely is currently suing the Arizona GOP, accusing the party of favoritism, and claims he’s been excluded from party events and accessing contributors.
Governor candidate sues AZ GOP for exclusion from primary debate:
Scott Neely⁰v.⁰Kelli Ward; Republican Party of Arizona; Does⁰6/6/2022 CV2022-092399
— Arizona Election Law (@azelectionlaw) June 11, 2022
Current Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) is term-limited, so whoever clinches the Arizona GOP nomination will face the Democratic candidate for Governor, Katie Hobbs. But it won’t be without a fight. Between Neely’s lawsuit, Lake’s belief that if she doesn’t win, cheating was involved, and the infighting among Republicans, the race to the bottom is in full swing.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick