On Thursday, Dr. Kelli Ward launched an ad comparing Rep. Martha McSally to the highly unpopular Sen. Jeff Flake. “Jeff Flake is an embarrassment to Arizona and Martha McSally is proving to be even worse,” claims Ward in the ad.
Ward’s ad debuted on the James T. Harris radio show on KFYI in Phoenix.
Ward and McSally are in the Republican Primary battle for Flake’s Senate seat. Flake did not have enough support to keep his Senate seat and announced that he would not run earlier this year.
Since then, Flake has been a loud and vocal critic of President Trump. Unlike Flake, McSally’s view of Trump and his policies are unclear. McSally must run to the right in the primary. As a result, her team appears to be scrubbing evidence of her previous progressive positions.
According to CNN, McSally’s office removed from public view a video on YouTube of her defending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.
McSally has been fairly masterful at creating her public personae. As a darling of Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyle, McSally had considerable help selling her brand to the people of Congressional District 3. Because both McCain and Flake are among the least popular politicians in D.C., McSally has struggled selling that brand to precinct committeemen and the Republican Party’s grassroots.
Not only did Ward go after McSally for being like Flake, she issued a statement condemning Flakes Senate floor speech:
“Flake’s latest personal attack of the President on the Senate Floor today demonstrates he’s lost all interest in advancing an America First agenda, instead focusing on grandstanding before he leaves office. Arizona rejected Flake for this ineffective, self-righteous style of politicking. Flake shows little interest in working constructively with the President, hurling personal insults questioning the President’s character and approach rather than addressing underlying policy differences. Arizonans are sick and tired of it.”
CNN reports that a press release from McSally’s office in June 2017, before her Senate bid, highlighted her “questioning of then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly about immigration and border issues at a House committee hearing.”
“The release said that McSally questioned Kelly on the department’s plan to address DACA, and whether Kelly could assure her that DACA recipients would be protected from deportation,” continued the CNN report.
“These children were brought here at no fault of their own. In Arizona, there are 57,000 of them,” McSally said in the release, according to CNN. “Uncertainty brings fear to my constituents in this position. Can you assure me that they will be protected?”
CNN found that the “press release embedded a YouTube video of that interaction below a line that says, “to watch the exchange from the hearing, click below,” but the YouTube video has since been made unavailable for viewing, meaning the video has been made private or deleted. Two other videos from the hearing also included in the press release, neither DACA-related, are still available and online.”