Kyrsten Sinema is the Democrat running for the Arizona Senate seat being vacated by Jeff Flake. Today the Regean Battalion released a video of Sinema from 2011 in which she describes the Tea Party and Republicans in general as “crazy.”
Sinema was apparently speaking to an LGBT group in Texas where she made a number of disparaging remarks about Republicans in her state, but also seemed to make some more general comments about the Tea Party and the GOP.
“There’s something wrong with the people in public office in Arizona,” Sinema said. She continued, “And you know people say ‘oh, the Tea Party, the Tea Party.’ Please, those people have been in charge for like 20 years in Arizona. They’re called Republicans.
“It’s true. I think we should stop calling them Tea Party. No, it’s not the Tea Party, they’re Republicans. They’re Republicans. We should call them that because the Republicans get a free ride when they call the Tea Party something other than what they are. And we actually know, Tea Party, Republican, it’s all the same thing. It’s called crazy.”
Sinema then got more specific, mentioning former Arizona state senate president Russell Pierce who was the sponsor of an anti-immigration bill called SB1070. Pierce was the subject of a recall effort in 2011 and lost his seat to another Republican. Sinema also makes reference to then-Gov. Jan Brewer, describing her as “not much of a reader.”
Last month CNN reported on the anti-war group which Sinema co-founded in the early 2000s. The group promoted itself with flyers which depicted a U.S. soldier as a skeleton with a machine gun and which encouraged people to resist “U.S. terror in Iraq and the Middle East.” Sinema claimed she hadn’t drawn the flyers and didn’t approve them but another poster featuring a black tank with a US flag which read “STOP the OILigarchy” featured her personal email address as a point of contact.
Sinema is currently presenting herself as a centrist Democrat who often doesn’t side with the far left. This interview is from a month ago. Her pitch is that she’s running in a purple state and party labels don’t really matter to Arizonans. In other words, please don’t hold my party label against me.
That seems like quite a switch from her more partisan tone in 2011. Recent polls have shown Sinema falling behind her Republican opponent Martha McSally.
Here’s a 5 1/2 minute version of the speech. This is obviously not the full speech but this is the longest portion that has been released at this point. Watch it for yourself: