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AZ GOP Committee Meeting: Impeachment, Trump Economy And Future Of Arizona GOP

Several big names in the Arizona Republican Party spoke at the party’s 2020 state committee meeting on Jan. 25. 

Gov. Doug Ducey, Sen. Martha McSally, party chairwoman Kelli Ward, and Reps. Debbie Lesko, David Schweikert, and Paul Gosar delivered addresses to the few-hundred Republican party members in attendance. 

The crowd of nearly 900 precinct committee members and GOP officials gathered to vote on state committee leadership positions and hear from elected Republican officials. 

The theme of the meeting was #KeepArizonaGreat, and the atmosphere was decidedly pro-Trump. Most attendees wore some sort of Trump-themed apparel.

Much of the discussion surrounded the ongoing Senate impeachment hearings against President Trump. Speakers also addressed the future of the Republican Party, and foretold a bleak future if conservatives didn’t get out and vote.


Sen. McSally, who was in Washington for President Trump’s impeachment trial,  addressed the crowd in a pre-recorded video. She blamed prominent congressional Democrats for her inability to attend the meeting. 

“I wish I could be there with you, but I'm stuck here in Washington D.C.,” McSally said. “Thanks to Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Adam Schiff.”

Rep. Debbie Lesko, who was named a House Impeachment manager for President Trump’s defense, derided the impeachment as a petty partisan process. She was a popular figure at the meeting, stopping to shake hands and pose for selfies with many attendees. 

“I heard hours and hours of the Democrats talking about all this great evidence they had, all the great stuff they had,” Lesko said. “It’s a total sham. Total B.S.”

Lesko then targeted the Democratic House Impeachment managers, claiming she wasn’t allowed to question fact witnesses. 

“The audacity of these house members, who cut us out of witnesses,” she said. “I couldn’t even ask questions of witnesses — fact witnesses — they were so unfair, so corrupt, in the house, the Democrats were.”

McSally used another euphemism for excrement to describe the proceedings. 

“Have you been watching any of this?” McSally said in her recorded address. “Adam Schiff and his ‘Schiff-show' have clearly stated ... that they want to overturn the results of the 2016 election and keep President Trump off the ballot in 2020.” 

“If you've been watching it all, I'm sure you feel like it's more painful than having major dental surgery without anesthesia,” McSally said. 

The Trump Economy

President Trump recently called the economy “the greatest in the history of our country,” and with many experts reporting favorable economic conditions, Republicans have seized on the good news. 

Rep. David Schweikert focused much of his address on the economic accomplishments of the Trump administration.

“We have done more for the working poor, more for those who are being written off in our society,” Schweikert said. “Three  years ago, (economists) said to write them off, put them on welfare, they’re gone. Then some miracle happened the last couple years. Their labor became valuable. They became wanted and needed in our society. You live in a country with more jobs than we even have people. That is a miracle.”

McSally touted recently approved trade deals, including the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which will be ratified on Wednesday.

“(We) secured massive tax cuts, deregulation, and now trade deals that are good for American workers,” McSally said. “Unemployment rates are now at all time lows and wages are rising.”

Economic indicators have been steadily improving since the end of the Great Recession in 2010. Unemployment has steadily dropped since then, down from nearly 10% to below 4%. Wage growth has improved, and median household incomes have continued their increase from a low-point in 2012. 

Future Of The GOP

Every speaker emphasized the stakes at play in the 2020 election — warning that Democrats were power-hungry socialists who would destroy basic rights and American values. 

“We’re going down the tubes folks,” Ward said. “Education’s going down the tubes. Our Second Amendment rights are going down the tubes. Our right to free speech is really even on the line.”

“So we have got to keep the pedal to the metal,” Ward said. “As one example of what happens when Arizona voters make the mistake of giving Democrats even a little power, look at the Phoenix City Council.” 

Ward was referring to the council’s controversial fare increase on rideshares at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Attorney General Mark Brnovich has challenged the ordinance with the Arizona Supreme Court. 

Ducey warned party members that not voting would turn Arizona into a blue state. 

"We only have one-vote margin in our House of Representatives. Meaning we are one seat away from having a California-styled state Legislature,” Ducey said, drawing boos and jeers from the audience. “Those are the stakes that we have here.”

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Scott Bourque was a reporter and podcast producer at KJZZ from 2019 to 2022.