Arizona Republican leaders are now openly sniping at each other

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Peter Weber
·2 min read
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"The Arizona Republican Party has asked its followers if they are willing to die for the cause of overturning the presidential election results, eliciting alarm and criticism from within and outside the GOP," The Arizona Republic reports. The negative responses from Arizona Republicans to Tuesday's tweet from the state GOP was just the latest open squabbling in the party as it grapples with President Trump's loss, his losing legal battle to overturn that defeat, the better-than-expected election results for state Republicans, and the challenges that are emerging as Arizona slides from GOP control to swing state.

"There's been a civil war boiling in the Republican Party for a couple of years," Marcus Dell'Artino, a Republican strategist in Phoenix, tells The New York Times. "Now we're seeing the public part of it."

A sizable chunk of the Arizona Republican Party is siding with Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani as they try to retroactively win an election Trump lost to President-elect Joe Biden. But Gov. Doug Ducey (R), a Trump supporter, is not among them. After he signed the certification of Biden's victory — while ignoring a call from Trump on camera — Arizona GOP chairwoman Kelli Ward told him to "#STHU," or shut the hell up. He responded, "I think what I would say is the feeling's mutual to her, and practice what you preach."

Ward also called Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) "cowardly" for shutting down the House for a week following Giuliani's close visit with a dozen GOP lawmakers just days before testing positive for COVID-19. And when Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), a Trump loyalist, suggested Ducey would "coerce vaccinations" for COVID-19, Ducey's chief of staff, Daniel Scarpinato called Biggs "nuts" and suggested he "enjoy your time as a permanent resident of Crazytown."

It isn't clear if Ward, a divisive figure representing the party's far-right faction, will seek another term when the Arizona GOP picks its next chair in January.

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