Nothing says “authentic” like a list of “Republican” supporters who aren’t Republicans.
That’s the sleight of hand Joe Biden just tried to pull. On Monday afternoon, his presidential campaign blasted out a “[h]uge list of Arizona Republicans … endorsing @JoeBiden today,” in an attempt to paint the Democratic ticket as bipartisan. We in Arizona were a little confused, though, because most of the endorsees on the list aren’t exactly what you’d call Republicans.
Right at the top of the list (you guessed it) is former senator Jeff Flake, who suddenly dropped out of his reelection race in 2017 after realizing that Republican primary voters didn’t like him — and neither did anybody else. Most of the time, the former senator is out of sight (and out of mind). But every now and then he’ll pop his head above ground to remind the media how woke he is and get a sniff of that “Strange New Respect.”
This week’s endorsement is just another example of that. In 2016, Flake announced that he wasn’t voting for President Trump. In 2019, he bragged that “I would support a Democrat” for president, adding: “… obviously Joe Biden comes to mind.” Finally, in early 2020, he reiterated that November “won’t be the first time I’ve voted for a Democrat.”
It is not news that Flake — who has made a habit of cutting low-dollar checks to Democratic candidates in order to theatrically “make a point” — is at the top of this list, but it is news that the media still characterizes him as a Republican when he clearly resigned from the party a long time ago.
Following Flake on Biden’s list is Jim Kolbe, who left Congress while George W. Bush was still in office. The former congressman soon after became an Obama appointee and subsequently crossed “Republican” off of his voter registration.
Following him is Grant Woods. You might be asking: “Who is that?” So are we.
Woods, a politician from the 1990s, gained a reputation as a liberal Republican before disappearing from the political world for a decade while working as a trial lawyer. He came out of the woodwork in 2010 to endorse Felecia Rotellini (now the Arizona Democratic Party’s chairwoman) for state attorney general and again in 2014 to endorse Democrat Fred DuVal for governor. Woods then endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton for president in 2016 — he called her “one of the most qualified nominees to ever run” — and endorsed Democrats Hiral Tipirneni and Kyrsten Sinema in 2018 before formally changing his own voter registration to Democrat.
But, yes, definitely a Republican.
Which other “Republicans” are on the list? Well, there’s Kris Mayes … a, um, longtime Democratic donor. There’s also Sam Campana, Susan Gerard, and Roberta Voss … all of whom serve on the leadership team at the scam PAC known as the Lincoln Project. The list goes on like this, but unfortunately the media will let Biden get away with it.
If this pathetic stunt was meant to undermine the Republican National Convention, the mission failed. Far from successful counterprogramming, it’s an infomercial for how not to campaign in Arizona.
Like the rest of the country, Arizonans remember what eight years of Joe Biden felt like during the Obama administration, and we’re not interested in going back.
Brian Anderson is founder of the Saguaro Group, a research firm in Arizona.