Weekend Round Up: GOP Civil War Front & Center in AZ Senate Race
PHOENIX – Over the weekend, Arizonans learned one thing about the Arizona Senate race – the AZGOP is embattled in a toxic civil war where its leaders are as destructive as the party’s partisan discord. The stories further emphasized a gridlock that has Arizonans fed up and ready for a fair-minded voice in Washington.
From local to national outlets, the media unanimously outlined the deep divide within the Arizona Republican Party – a rift that has no end in sight.
Arizona Republic: “Trump solidifies his grip on GOP with the exits of Flake, Corker”
“ …Flake, R-Ariz., one of Trump's most visible antagonists, conceded he could not win his primary in the current Republican climate without compromising his integrity.
Despite agreeing with Trump in many instances, Flake acknowledged that their stark differences on issues such as free trade and immigration likely would brand the senator as insufficiently loyal to Trump in Arizona's Republican primary.” […]
"The GOP they knew, it's half-dead already and probably will be dead within a few years. And at that point, it will be a Trumpist party…”
New York Times: “‘Bedlam Out Here in Arizona’ After Jeff Flake Departs Senate Race”
“Senator Jeff Flake’s decision to abandon his 2018 re-election campaign in Arizona has thrown open the Senate race there, exposing deep fissures not only on the Republican side…” […]
“Establishment Republicans, meanwhile, are scrambling to find a candidate to replace Mr. Flake and wage a primary challenge against Kelli Ward…” […]
“…polling in the state showed just how difficult it would be for an anti-Trump Republican to win an Arizona primary…” […]
“Ms. Ward has the backing of Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s former chief strategist, who has vowed to wage war on establishment Republicans…”
“Ms. McSally has also drawn opposition from a coalition of conservative advocacy groups, led by the Club for Growth.” […]
Washington Post: “Flake’s retirement is not directly tied to the feud between Republican Party leaders and former White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon — who is waging a populist “war” against the GOP establishment — but he is a battlefield casualty.”
Business Insider: “But McSally could run into trouble in a possible run against Republican opponents including former state Sen. Kelli Ward — who is backed by former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and pro-President Donald Trump media — for past comments critical of Trump.” […]
“The Bannon faction has already begun to sound the alarm on McSally.” […] “Several influential conservative groups, including the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks, said they would oppose a McSally run.”
CNN: “Conservative groups are trying to scare Rep. Martha McSally away from Arizona's Republican primary to replace retiring Sen. Jeff Flake.”
Newsweek: “ANYONE WHO SUPPORTS DONALD TRUMP JEOPARDIZES THEIR OWN RE-ELECTION, JEFF FLAKE SAYS”
Arizona Monitor: “When deciding which Republican to support, hold them to this single standard: Which of these Republicans was willing to challenge Senator Jeff Flake in the very beginning and fight for conservative values even when being ridiculed by the Arizona political establishment? Some of the politicians likely to run for Flake’s seat will be smart and seeing how Flake fared with his anti-Trump baloney, they will be quick to chime in how pro-Trump and America First they are. Almost every candidate will tout how they stepped up to the plate yet ask every one of them this question:
If you are such a pro-Trump supporter and believe in changing DC, why did you wait until Flake stepped down before taking up this cause, even while Flake openly bashed and criticized our President? Why did you remain silent and why are you now running for office when the stakes have been lowered and the opposition eliminated? Where were you months ago when Flake issued his hit-piece, The Conscience of a Conservative?”