Arizona’s GOP governor has warned against the ‘bullies’ of his party

Ducey, who is finishing his second term as co-chairman of the Republican Governors Association, came under fire from Trump after he rejected calls from the former president to overturn Joe Biden’s narrow victory in Arizona. Without mentioning Trump by name on Tuesday night, the governor described himself as struggling to find “direction and purpose” at a time when Trump has maintained a semblance of loyalty to his base and hand-picked far-right candidates in many marquees. Midterm races – including Arizona, where Ducey has reportedly come to some of those Trump picks.

The Arizona governor, who has repeatedly rebuffed efforts to recruit national Republicans to run for Senate, predicted the GOP would do well in November, but only because of what he described as Democrats’ “incompetence.” the candidates’ extreme positions on abortion and Trump’s adoption of election lies could jeopardize the party’s chances of controlling the House and Senate in November.

Ducey seemed to have a special purpose after Trump lost his bid to stay in power in 2020.

“It’s worth remembering, the goal of winning an election isn’t just about winning an election. It’s about preserving the American dream and governing with conservative ideals that improve the lives of ordinary Americans,” he said in his speech.

He argued that a “dangerous strain of big government activism has taken hold” in his party and that “many conservative small governments have become bullies,” people who are more than happy to use the power of government to tell businesses and people how to run their businesses. lives,” he noted in favor of the traditional Republican embrace of less intrusive government.

He added that “a corner of conservative politics is defined more by attitudes — and anger — than by commitment to a specific set of ideals” and that “increasing segments of today’s conservatives are just as happy to boss us around and tell us . . . — and business.” — how to lead our lives like the progressive left.”

Ducey argued that Republicans should go back to their roots by trying to convince voters of their commitment to limited government and adopt a “happy warrior” stance, suggesting that rhetoric laced with anger and grievances — a Trump hallmark — is the wrong approach. .

“Being a bully is not the way to go,” he said. “It’s clear that even royalists are not. We are a nation that chose the Constitution instead of the king, and it’s better to keep it that way.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tried unsuccessfully to recruit Ducey, who has been popular in Arizona despite his rift with Trump, to run for the US Senate as he tries to unseat Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly.

Trump mocked Ducey at the time, at one point releasing a statement saying “MAGA will never endorse Arizona RINO Gov. Doug Ducey as a candidate for US Senate,” using shorthand for “Republican in name only.”

This spring, Ducey joined several other top GOP governors in an effort to field more top GOP candidates for the midterm elections in what has become a proxy battle between the GOP establishment and the Trump-led party. He hit the campaign trail with Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to support Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp in May as Trump tried to sink Kemp’s re-election chances. Kemp, who also rejected Trump’s calls to overturn Biden’s victory in his home state, was the rare Republican nationally to prevail against a Trump-backed primary challenger.
Ducey endorsed Republican candidate Karrin Taylor Robson to replace him as governor in term-limited Arizona, actively campaigned against Kari Lake, who echoed the former president’s lies about the election, and eventually won the GOP nomination against the Trump-backed candidate. Ducey told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union” ahead of the August primary that Lake was “misleading voters without evidence” and described Robson as a “real conservative.”

But after the Arizona primary, he congratulated Lake in a series of tweets and noted that the Republican Governors Association was already on the airwaves to support him as he asked members of his own party to rally. He recently endorsed Blake Masters, the Trump-backed GOP Senate candidate, with an effusive statement calling him “fearless in the face of the threats we face today.”