Governor Doug Ducey (R) shot back at the Arizona Republican Party on Sunday morning, a week after he was censured over pandemic policies he enacted back in 2020.
“This is an action of very little consequence,” Ducey told CNN host Dana Bash during an appearance on “State of the Union” on Sunday morning. “The party in Arizona has had a long history of discontent. This is just the latest example. I think that the state party chairman should focus on winning races. That should be a top priority.”
Although Arizona had been represented in the Senate by two Republicans since the mid-1990s, Republicans recently lost control of both seats. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) took over the seat formerly held by Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) in 2019, and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) recently replaced Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) to finish out the final two years in the late Senator John McCain’s term.
Ducey’s response came after Bash asked him about a political cartoon Cindy McCain, who was also censured by the Arizona GOP in the same meeting, posted to Twitter. The cartoon showed an elephant, dressed in a tuxedo and labeled as the state Republican party, censuring Ducey, McCain, and Flake for exhibiting a “gross display of basic integrity.”
Enough said! pic.twitter.com/mco6lhfWjy
— Cindy McCain (@cindymccain) January 25, 2021
“I believe I was in good company in that cartoon, and I also want to say I worked incredibly hard to deliver the state for Donald Trump, and Red, up through election day, and then after election day, of course, once all the ballots were certified — all fifteen counties, the vote had been audited and determined accurate — I had very little choice but to do the right thing, follow the law and the Constitution,” said Ducey.
Last week, the Arizona Republican Party voted to censure Ducey for emergency rules he enacted amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The state Republican party, which also censured McCain and Flake, said Ducey’s rules restricted the “personal liberties” of Arizona residents and forced them to comply with “unconstitutional edicts.” As The New York Times reported, Ducey’s emergency rules provided him with an avenue to enact COVID-19 restrictions on businesses without the consent of lawmakers.
Flake was censured for condemning the Republican Party, rejecting populism, and embracing globalism over “the interests of the American people,” according to Arizona Central. McCain was censured for supporting “globalist policies and candidates,” for condemning President Donald Trump when he was in office, and for supporting the growth of the administrative states, according to The New York Times.
During the same meeting, Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward was re-elected for another term in the state party leadership. According to The Wall Street Journal, Ward narrowly won the leadership vote after she played a video of Trump asking party officials to vote for her.