Rep. Trent Franks, Republican of Arizona, had a dire message for American voters this weekend, declaring in an interview with Breitbart News’ radio program that if Hillary Clinton is elected president, the Constitution will be lost, possibly forever.
Franks spoke with Breitbart’s Matt Boyle at the Values Voter Summit, the annual Religious Right conference hosted by the Family Research Council, in an interview that was aired on Sunday.
“Well, I know that listeners to any political program are used to hearing political hyperbole,” Franks told Boyle. “I understand that and I know that it’s hard sometimes to take so-called politicians seriously. But I have the privilege of chairing a Constitution subcommittee in the Congress, and I can tell you with everything in me that if Hillary Clinton becomes president, she will appoint at least probably three Supreme Court justices and undermine this Constitution to the extent that it will essentially be vitiated and abrogated for a generation or more. I can’t express to you how serious that is. This generation could be the ones that lose the Constitution either for the next 30 years or maybe forever. And so this November is going to tell that story.”
Franks said that if Trump picks Supreme Court nominees from the list that he has put forward, which was shaped by conservative groups, then “we have a chance to save this country.”
“If Mrs. Clinton, on the other hand, appoints the Supreme Court justices, the Constitution is lost,” he said. “Let me say that again: If she does it, the Constitution is lost and my children and yours will face a completely different future than they otherwise would have and the greatest republic in the history of the world has become perhaps just on the track of another European socialist experiment.”
Franks effusively praised Trump’s speech to the Values Voter Summit, saying, “I believe if every Christian, for that matter every really committed American, could have heard this speech they would have become a committed, irrevocable supporter of Donald Trump.”
He also warned that terrorists around the world will be celebrating if Clinton is elected.
“If Hillary Clinton becomes president, we ought to all start sleeping with the lights on because national security will be at grave risk,” he said. “I don’t know how to express it in any stronger terms. If she becomes president, terrorists the world over will celebrate. Their celebration will make the one at the DNC look like a slumber party. This is that significant.”
UPDATE (8/31/16): Wilson lost the Republican primary by a wide margin to Graham Harbold.
Back in 2014, we reported that Richard Mack, a former sheriff from Arizona who now heads the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), had signed on to a plan to move to Navajo County, Arizona, to run for office and create what he called a “constitutional county.” He urged supporters to consider moving to the county as well to support him as sheriff in 2016 and begin to establish a “blueprint” county that would operate according to his vision of county-level resistance to federal laws that he believes are unconstitutional.
“I want you to carefully, prayerfully consider moving there with me, and I’m serious,” he told an anti-gun-law rally that year. “You want to live in a free county? You want to live by constitutional law? You want to not be worried about federal government coming in and ruining your lives and families and hauling you off at midnight? Come live with us there.”
Mack didn’t show up on the ballot, so we assumed that the project was off, or at least delayed. But late last month Mack announced that while he had dropped his plan to run for sheriff because of health problems he had signed on as a candidate for “under sheriff” in Navajo County alongside “constitutional” Republican candidate Dawn Wilson.
Wilson made her ideology clear in a joint radio interview with Mack earlier this month, saying that once elected, “I want to first of all train our officers on the Constitution, train our citizens to know their rights, and then I want to build a barrier between the citizens of Navajo County and the federal government to keep them out. They don’t need to be coming into our county and harassing us, they don’t need to be calling for gun control. The sheriff needs to stand up and put their foot down and say, ‘No, it’s not going to happen here.’”
Mack and his followers contend that county sheriffs are the highest law enforcement officers in the nation, having authority over the federal government in their respective counties. This idea emerged from the racist and anti-Semitic “Posse Comitatus” movement of the 1970s and ‘80s but has since taken on a separate life of its own in today’s far-right.
As we wrote in 2014:
Mack focuses most of his advocacy on promoting county- and state-level resistance to federal gun laws—he won a Supreme Court case against the Brady bill in the ‘90s—but has also involved his group in anti-immigration efforts and has spoken out against LGBT rights, urging sheriffs to back up county clerks who refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. However, he finds common ground with many progressives in hisopposition to the drug war.
Mack, a board member of the Oath Keepers, was a prominent presence earlier this year at the Bundy ranch in Nevada, where armed “Patriot” and militia groups resisted the Bureau of Land Management’s effort to collect more than a million dollars in grazing fees that rancher Cliven Bundy had refused to pay for 20 years of using federal lands. Mack compared the stand of the anti-government groups at the Bundy ranch to Rosa Parks’ resistance to segregation.
An acolyte of “New World Order” alarmist Cleon Skousen, Mack shares his movement’s taste for conspiracy theories. Mack believes that President Obama fabricated his birth certificate and is threatening those who know about it to keep them from coming forward, has speculated that the 1995 Waco siege was a federal government setup to rustle up more ATF funding, and said this year that he had “no doubt” the federal government might stage a false flag attack on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
Mack said in a late July radio interview that his and Wilson’s candidacy was a “long shot.” Wilson is up against one opponent in the August 30 GOP primary and then would face the Democratic incumbent in the general election. Mack mentioned in the interview that his and Wilson’s chances would improve if they gained the support of the Navajo Nation. The county, which includes large parts of several Indian reservations, is about 45 percent American Indian.
PHOENIX—Today, civil rights leader and People For the American Way (PFAW) board member Dolores Huerta joined Arizona Latino elected officials and community leaders for a press conference kicking off PFAW’s new campaign, Trumpublicans: Reject Trump and the Republicans / Trumpublicanos: Rechaza a Trump y los Republicanos. The campaign targets the anti-immigrant, anti-Latino extremism of Donald Trump and Senate Republicans. In addition to the press conference today, PFAW launched radio and digital ads in Arizona, North Carolina, and Florida making clear that Trumpublicans / Trumpublicanos — those who are supporting Trump whether by voting for him or helping him implement his agenda — stand against Latinos.
Key statements from press conference participants:
Civil rights leader and PFAW board member Dolores Huerta:
“In 1972, Cesar Chavez and I were organizing in Arizona. Cesar was doing a 25-day water-only fast to protest an unjust law that prevented farmworks from striking or boycotting in his home state of Arizona. I met with some Latino professionals in the state and we discussed all the barriers they faced to making change, and all the reasons why Arizona couldn’t do it. But I know the power our communities can yield. When they said, 'no we can’t, no se puede,' I said 'si se puede, yes we can!' We’re at a similar juncture now. Can we beat Trump, McCain, and Arpaio and continue to make progress for working families right here in Arizona? Si se puede, yes we can, through our votes!
“There’s no Trump ‘pivot.’ He is the same man still pushing policies of mass deportation and portraying immigrants as criminals. From Day One, Trump has run a bigoted campaign that goes against American values, and that should disqualify him from the presidency. No leader, no matter their party, should be voting for him. Yet to this day, McCain and his Republican Party are blocking any action on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. They instead hope that a President Trump will fill it. And Trump, McCain, and the Republicans oppose the policies that we support, like DACA and DAPA, raising the minimum wage and enacting policies to ensure equal pay for equal work.”
Congressman Ruben Gallego:
“While the Constitution is clear that Senators are supposed to advise and consent on judicial nominations, Senators McCain, Flake and their Republican Party are refusing to do their jobs. They’d rather have Donald Trump, who believes immigrants are rapists and doesn’t believe a federal judge can be impartial just because of his heritage, appoint the next Supreme Court justices. We can’t let Trump appoint the next justices and we can’t let Republicans be the ones in control of confirming Supreme Court justices. That’s why Arizona Latinos can and will vote in record numbers to reject Trump and McCain this November.”
State Representative Rebecca Rios:
“Donald Trump seeks to win this election by painting our communities as dangerous. He’s attacked a federal judge because of his Mexican-American heritage, called immigrants 'killers,' kicked Jorge Ramos out of a press conference, and so much more. It’s not just Trump’s hate that makes it so important for us to vote against him. He, McCain, and the Republicans stand against us on so many issues. They deny the science of climate change, for example, even though our state keeps seeing record heat and exorbitant energy bills that are hurting working families and the elderly. And that’s not to mention the public health issues that will only get worse as Republicans continue to ignore climate change.”
Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo:
“A vote for McCain is a vote for Trump. McCain’s trying to have it both ways: he’ll criticize Trump every once in a while, but ultimately, he’s still voting for him, he’d still like Trump to fill Supreme Court vacancies. Trump’s campaign of painting immigrants as ‘rapists’ and ‘drug dealers’ goes against everything we stand for as a nation. His mass deportation policies are despicable, and I’m ashamed that our Senator is still standing by him. In November, we need to use our votes to send a message to Trump, McCain, Arpaio and their allies. It’s the votes of Latinos in Arizona that could decide this election.”
LUCHA executive director Alejandra Gomez:
“Donald Trump’s divisive, hateful bigotry is reason enough make every effort to turn out to vote and bring our friends and neighbors too. But let’s not forget the damaging economic policies that Trump, McCain, and the Republican Party stand behind. They’re against raising the federal minimum wage, against efforts to ensure women get equal pay for equal work, against paid family and medical leave.”
PFAW director of Latinos Vote! Lizet Ocampo:
“Republicans can’t have it both ways. We know that anyone who stands with Donald Trump stands against us. We’ve launched our Trumpublicans / Trumpublicanos campaign to hold Donald Trump and the Republicans responsible for demonizing our communities and standing against our priorities. They’ve failed us at every level, and that's why we'll cast the deciding votes against them this November."
For follow-up interviews with press conference participants, or for questions about PFAW’s new campaign, please email email@example.com.
Far-right Arizona Senate candidate Kelli Ward acknowledged last month that Donald Trump’s promise to build a wall along the border with Mexico — which was recently added to the Republican platform — is merely a “euphemism” for other anti-immigrant policies.
Ward, who is challenging Arizona Sen. John McCain from the right in the upcoming GOP primary, is just the latest anti-immigrant conservative to admit that Trump is unlikely to actually build the wall he has promised his supporters.
In a July 26 interview with Tucson radio host James T. Harris, Ward claimed that when Trump talks about a wall he is actually talking about draconian policies such as ones preventing undocumented children from attending public schools are accessing health care:
Now, I’ll tell you, I’m ready to mix the mortar to fix the border, I’m ready to go in there and join Donald Trump. And when he says we want a wall, I think it’s a euphemism for securing the border. He means we need a barrier, I think we do need a physical barrier in some places, but also that we have to utilize technology, we have to utilize our people, we have to empower our border patrol to stop people from coming in and we have to turn off the goodies — that’s what Dr. Carson used to say when he was on the campaign trail — turn off the jobs, turn off the free education, health care, housing, free money, and let people know there are consequences to coming here illegally rather than rewards.
Yesterday on “The John Fredericks Show,” Arizona Republican state Sen. Kelli Ward, who is challenging Sen. John McCain in the state's GOP primary, claimed that the American government has “armed ISIS” and used over $1 billion to train and provide resources to the extremist group.
Ward called Hillary Clinton and McCain “two peas in a pod” when it comes to their “invade the world, invite the world” foreign policy.
“We have nation building abroad and we have open borders at home, we end up with terrorist attacks,” Ward said. “And what we’ve seen because we’ve armed ISIS – and I’m gonna put it right out there, the American government, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, have armed ISIS. Even in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, $1.3 billion put in there by John McCain to fund 'freedom fighters,' I’m putting it in air quotes, 'freedom fighters' in the Middle East, in Syria.
"And we did that before. We put in half a billion dollars – half a ‘b,’ billion, dollars – and we got four or five good rebels who fought for us, and the rest of that money, the rest of that training, the rest of those resources went into ISIS, and so now we’ve got bodies, we’ve got bodies from Benghazi to Orlando, and it’s all on the hands of the people who are in Washington, D.C., right now.”
On Wednesday, Maricopa County, Arizona, sheriff Joe Arpaio joined conservative radio host Howie Carr for the anti-immigrant hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform’s annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row to discuss Arpaio’s self-styled “concentration camp” and his endorsement of Donald Trump.
“You know, the usual suspects and the lawyers are coming into court and saying that the inmates are suffering terribly in your jails with the extreme weather in Arizona, you know,” Carr said. “Yeah, that always brings a smile to my face when I read these stories.”
Arpaio defended his methods. “I know, I was just in the tents two days ago, it was 136 degrees and I drank the Gatorade that I gave all the inmates, so you know what my answer is? Our men and women are fighting for our country, uh, live in tents, so shut your mouth,” Arpaio said, reminding Carr that “all these other guys are convicted.”
Arpaio, who notoriously makes inmates wear pink underwear and socks, said he is planning to add U.S. flags to their uniforms.
“I’ll give you a scoop: I’m going to put American flags — I was going to do it on my birthday but I didn’t want to get involved because of what happened in Florida — but on Fourth of July, every inmate is going to wear an American flag on their uniform.”
“So it was 136 degrees in those tents the last time you were in there, huh?” Carr asked.
“Two days ago,” Arpaio responded.
“Oh, my heart’s breaking,” Carr joked. “I wish we could cue some violin music here, it’s so terrible. This is cruel and unusual punishment, a violation of their Eighth Amendment rights, you know, come on, Sheriff.”
After laughing, Arpaio said, “Well, that’s the way it is.”
Arpaio also praised Donald Trump, claiming that while he has fallen behind Hillary Clinton in recent polling, his numbers have been “pretty good with all the heat he’s been taking. So he’ll come back strong, he’s a winner, and I like the guy, he’s the only candidate that I’ve endorsed that I really, really – I like ‘em all, but I really, this is something special that I noticed in him. He’s a great guy and a fighter and he’s gonna win.”
Arpaio boasted to Carr that he had "chewed out some Republicans at a Trump rally" he spoke at in Arizona on Saturday, criticizing them for offering only tepid endorsements of the presumptive GOP nominee.
“They always say they’re gonna endorse the nominee,” Arpaio said. “I guess when you endorse someone, should you not mention the name of the guy you’re endorsing, at least build up his name ID? Why wouldn’t they say, ‘I’m endorsing Donald Trump for president?' Why is it always ‘the nominee’ without using his name? You know why and I know why.”
Arpaio continued, “Let’s knock off the personal feelings, let’s knock off the jealousy. Let’s, you know, forget that you have losers out there. He’s a winner, and let’s get with him.”
After appearing on Alex Jones’ extremist radio show, Arizona state Sen. Kelli Ward, who is challenging U.S. Sen. John McCain in the upcoming GOP primary, called in yesterday to “Trunews,” the End Times program hosted by unhinged conspiracy theorist Rick Wiles.
Ward, who “has promoted fears about ‘chemtrails’ and rallied behind anti-government icon Cliven Bundy during his standoff with law enforcement,” told Wiles that she is squarely behind Donald Trump’s border wall plan, claiming that people who live on the U.S.-Mexican border have been “terrorized” and are facing “horrific” conditions.
“We are allowing, basically, almost an occupation along the border and it’s got to stop,” she said.
Today, People For the American Way (PFAW) released a Spanish-language radio ad in Arizona criticizing Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake for refusing to give fair consideration to Judge Merrick Garland, making clear that they’d prefer to have Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump fill the seat. The ad, the first of its kind talking specifically to Latino voters about Trump and the Supreme Court vacancy, will run for a week on Spanish-language radio in Arizona.
PFAW Director of Latinos Vote! and Manager of Political Campaigns Lizet Ocampo stated:
“Donald Trump is a bigot who has called Mexican immigrants rapists, supports mass deportation, and referred to women as ‘pigs’ and ‘dogs.’ Yet Senators McCain and Flake would rather hold the seat open for him to fill than do their job and give fair consideration to an extraordinarily well qualified nominee like Judge Merrick Garland. It’s nothing short of disgraceful.”
Listen in English:
Sabemos que la Corte Suprema toma algunas de las decisiones más importantes como la inmigración, el derecho a votar y la salud.
Y estas decisiones afectan a nuestros amigos, a nuestras familias y a nuestra comunidad.
Entonces, ¿Por qué los Senadores McCain y Flake se rehúsan a cumplir con su responsabilidad y bloquean al candidato del presidente Obama?
¿Será porque quieren que sea Donald Trump, la persona que dijo que los inmigrantes mexicanos eran violadores y traficantes de drogas, quién nombre a nuestro siguiente juez de la Corte Suprema?
Al no cumplir con su responsabilidad, nuestros senadores están haciendo el típico juego sucio de los republicanos. ¡Que vergüenza!
McCain y Flake deben confirmar al Juez de la Corte Suprema nominado por Obama; y dejar de hacer lo que les pide Trump.
Este mensaje es pagado por People For the American Way, www.pfaw.org, y no está autorizado por ningún candidato o comité de candidato. People For the American Way es responsable por el contenido de este anuncio.
We know the Supreme Court makes some of the most important decisions like immigration, voting rights, and health care. And these decisions affect our friends, families, and community.
So why are Senators McCain and Flake refusing to do their job – and blocking President Obama's nominee?
Is it because they want to see Donald Trump – the man who called Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers – get to name our next Supreme Court Justice?!
By not doing their job, our Senators are playing dirty Republican tricks.
What a disgrace!
McCain and Flake need to confirm President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee – and stop doing Donald Trump’s bidding.
Paid for by People For the American Way(www.pfaw.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. People For the American Way is responsible for the content of this advertising.
Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., was Family Research Council President Tony Perkins’ guest on his “Washington Watch” program on Saturday, where he warned that continued legal abortion “rivals almost anything that happened on the altars of Baal” and will lead to God’s judgment on liberals and on America as a whole.
“As a nation, we are accountable for what we know,” Perkins said, “and we do know now, without excuse, what Planned Parenthood is doing. I tremble for my nation, for this country, to move forward in choosing the wrong path when we now know what is happening in these abortion clinics across the nation.”
“You know, for some reason, and I don’t understand it,” Franks said, “all through history, God has always done His part, but He’s required us to do ours. And He ultimately wins the battle, but what happens in history is oftentimes directly reflective of man’s responsibility or irresponsibility. And for some reason, we are created to be responsible and to listen to God’s foundational precepts. And when we don’t, it brings great suffering on us and upon those we love and upon the greater human family. And right now, you are so right, we have seen the evil of Planned Parenthood and the murder of these little children that rivals almost anything that happened on the altars of Baal. And if we don’t, as a nation, say, ‘No, we reject that,’ I’m afraid we’ll bring great sorrow upon all of us.”
Franks went on to warn pro-choice liberals that if they believe in God, they should be “trembling.”
“You know, I have absolutely every conviction that God is on His throne and He’s going to prevail here,” Franks said. “But in human terms, if Christians and people of good will and people who have a respect for their fellow human beings don’t begin to assert themselves soon, the barbarians are going to overrun the gates.”
“I really fear for” pro-choice people, he said. “Because there are two questions I would ask the left: What if these really are babies? And what if there really is a God? Those are things that if I had to ask in their position, there would be great trembling in my life if I held their position.”
Today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on what the committee’s Republican leadership called “the horrific abortion practices at the nation’s largest abortion provider” was supposed to amplify the Center for Medical Progress’ recent smear campaign against Planned Parenthood. But seeing as neither a representative from Planned Parenthood nor from the Center for Medical Progress was invited to testify, it turned into a catch-all discussion of various efforts to turn back reproductive rights.
Rep. Trent Franks, the Arizona Republican, used his time at the hearing to call for the defunding of Planned Parenthood and to push his 20-week abortion ban, which passed in the House earlier this year.
Franks said that legal abortion after 20 weeks — a point at which only a tiny percentage of abortions take place — is “the worst human rights atrocity in the history of the United States,” claiming that many fetuses aborted after 20 weeks “cried and screamed as they died, but because it was amniotic fluid going over the vocal chords instead of air, we couldn’t hear them.”
“What is so liberating about brutally and painfully dismembering living, helpless little human babies?” he asked.
Claiming that he was “protecting these little babies and their mothers” against the “evil acts” of legal abortion and Planned Parenthood, Franks declared, “The sands of time should blow over this Capitol dome before we give Planned Parenthood another dime of taxpayer money.”
GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson dropped by Pinal County, Arizona, today to speak with Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, a favorite of anti-immigrant activists and one-time GOP candidate for Congress, where the candidate said he was open to drone strikes in order to combat unlawful immigration along the southern border.
The television station KPHO captured part of the exchange, in which reporter Dennis Welch, apparently responding to an earlier comment from Carson, says that “drone strikes on American soil seems a little over the top, even to entertain that idea.”
“You can entertain all kinds of things,” Carson responds. “Here’s the take-home point: The take-home point is that we have excellent military leaders and we need to employ their expertise because this is a war we are fighting. That’s the bottom line."
Welch also tweeted that Carson said the drone strikes could go after “caves and things” on the southern border:
More from @RealBenCarson on border issues: "You look at some of these caves and things out there one drone strike, boom, and they'd gone."— Dennis Welch (@dennis_welch) August 19, 2015
Richard Mack, the head of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), said last week that “every governor and sheriff and county commissioner” in the country should refuse to enforce the Supreme Court’s decision striking down bans on gay marriage.
Rob Schilling, host of a radio program on Virginia’s WINA, asked Mack, “I’ve wondered what would happen if let’s just say a Judge Roy Moore stood up and said, ‘We’re not abiding by this. We already have defined marriage in this state.’”
“Every governor and sheriff and county commissioner should all be saying that,” Mack responded.
“Is the federal government going to send troops into that state, are we going to have an armed conflict over this issue?” Schilling pressed.
“If it’s one person, they very well might,” Mack responded, “but if it’s hundreds and hundreds and hundreds all across the country, there’s nothing they can do about it, so that’s what we should be doing.”
Mike Koeniger, the vice president of the state chapter of the Oath Keepers, was also on the line and interjected that it would only take a couple of hundred sheriffs, each backed up by thousands of armed civilian Oath Keepers, to defy the federal government on marriage.
“Imagine that we only had 200 sheriffs that stood in the gap, and behind every one of those sheriffs there were 2,000 Oath Keepers, being civilian or prior military or whatever, imagine the power of 200 sheriffs,” he said.
With that support, he said, “we’d win the war.”
WorldNetDaily provides us today with an update on Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s investigation into President Obama’s birth certificate, which apparently is still going strong despite a failure to release a piece of “universe-shattering” evidence that we were first promised in 2013. Arpaio’s chief investigator, Mike Zullo, tells WND that unspecified legal issues mean that this very important piece of evidence may not ever actually see “the light of day”:
What ever happened to the “universe-shattering” revelation promised by the sheriff’s lead investigator, Mike Zullo, in late 2013?
Reached by telephone, Zullo told WND in an interview his Cold Case Posse team commissioned by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office must resolve three legal issues before the new evidence can be revealed regarding the validity of the document posted online by the White House in 2011 as Obama’s birth certificate and a subsequent investigation of its origin.
“We’ve cleared two, and the last one is problematic,” Zullo said of the legal hurdles.
“If we can’t clear it, it may preclude this information from ever reaching the light of day. It may prevent me from ever disclosing what this is. But it does not mean we are not cultivating new evidence.”
Zullo, echoing Arpaio, expressed frustration that congressional Republicans have refused to publicly take up the birther battle. He revealed that he was hopeful after meeting with Florida Republican Rep. Jeff Miller in the U.S. Capitol, but that their agreements “evaporated.”
Arpaio told WND’s Aaron Klein in an interview broadcast Sunday on Klein’s radio show that he’s continuing to investigate the birth certificate, but “once again, nobody wants to look at it right now.”
“So it’s not my problem. I did my job,” said Arpaio, referring to attempts to pass on his evidence to Congress and federal authorities.
Zullo backs up Arpaio’s statement, noting the sheriff authorized him to travel to Washington, D.C., and meet with members of Congress. Zullo said lawmakers have told him they will not look into the matter or that they would be prevented from examining it if they tried.
Zullo said that on one occasion, he was accompanied by author and radio host Carl Gallups, who arranged a meeting with his congressman, Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla.
Zullo and Gallups, who has regularly discussed the Arpaio investigation on his weekly radio show, sat directly across from the congressman in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.
“It was almost surreal being in that room discussing this very topic as Nancy Pelosi strutted by,” Zullo said.
The meeting went well, he said, and arrangements were made to move forward.
“Then, within a week, everything came to a halt and just evaporated,” said Zullo, who noted it wasn’t the only time that has happened.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio defended his fellow anti-immigrant birther Donald Trump last week, saying that Trump didn’t mean “to say anything derogatory” about “all the great people from Mexico” when he said of Mexican immigrants, “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists.”
Arpaio told radio host Aaron Klein, in an interview later excerpted in WorldNetDaily, that criticism of Trump and his loss of corporate allies after he made the comments were violations of his “freedom of speech.”
“Well, first of all, I thought we had freedom of speech in this country, and he’s running for president, he has a right to voice his opinion,” Arpaio said. “He did talk about the birth certificate in the past, I’ve been working on that. So, I don’t know, I guess you’ve got to be politically correct when you run for office. But once again, I don’t believe he meant to say anything derogatory about all the people, all the great people from Mexico.”
In an interview with the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins this weekend, Rep. Trent Franks acknowledged that his 20-week abortion ban, which passed in the House last week, is meant to “completely undermine” Roe v. Wade, and hoped that it would help Americans “realize that as a country, we’ve been here before,” when “African Americans were considered property.”
Franks, an Arizona Republican, lamented that the bill that passed last week included a limited exception for survivors of rape and incest. The exception was first added to the bill in 2013 after Franks implied in a hearing that rape rarely results in pregnancy; a planned vote on the bill in January was scuttled after a group of Republican women raised concerns that the rape exception required women to report assaults to the police. After months of negotiations, the reporting requirement was removed from the bill but a 48-hour waiting period and other hurdles were restored in its place.
“Now, many of your listeners, including this one, Tony, would do everything that we could to protect all unborn children, and the only thing that we would ever say should be an exception to taking the life of a child would be to save another life, which is, you know, a very, very unusual situation,” Franks told Perkins.
But, he added, including the exceptions was all in service of the larger goal of launching a legal attack to undermine Roe v. Wade and making Americans realize that legal abortion is like slavery.
“But the point is, if we protect these children, now we begin to really examine, once again, the development and the humanity and the pain-capable nature of these children to where I think it gives us a chance to completely undermine the Roe v. Wade structure and to realize that as a country, we’ve been here before,” he said.
“We were here, African Americans were considered property, and somehow we rose up as a nation and turned back that evil. And now by the grace of God we’re going to turn back the evil of killing little children before they’re born.”
Franks has previously insisted that African Americans were better off under slavery than with legal abortion.
Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes told a Phoenix television station yesterday that he called for the hanging of Arizona Sen. John McCain last week because McCain “is every bit as nuts as Adolf Hitler was."
Rhodes made the comment while sitting next to Andy Biggs, the president of the Arizona Senate, who has said that he didn’t speak up because criticizing Rhodes would have violated his “free-speech rights.”
KPNX reporter Brahm Resnik noted that Biggs’s presence raised eyebrows around the Capitol:
"That's pretty shocking," said Chris Herstam, a former state legislator and longtime Capitol insider. "To have the Senate president sitting there and not disagreeing causes pause."
"People you associate with and the events you attend determine your political persona," Herstam said.
Biggs isn't just any politician, Herstam said. "Andy Biggs is the most powerful state legislator that we have."
Earlier this week, we reported on a recent event in Arizona in which Stewart Rhodes, founder of the anti-government group Oath Keepers, called for Sen. John McCain to be “hung by the neck until dead” for unspecified offenses against the Constitution. Sitting directly next to Rhodes as he made the remark was Andy Biggs, the Republican president of Arizona’s state senate, who is now facing questions from the local press about his participation in the event.
Biggs acknowledges that he was present at the event, a regular “Liberty on Tap” discussion hosted by the Arizona Freedom Caucus, but told reporters that he had confused the Oath Keepers with Promise Keepers, a Christian men’s organization. When asked why he didn’t say anything after Rhodes called for McCain’s execution, Biggs said it would have been a violation of the Oath Keepers head’s “free-speech rights” for him to contradict him:
Biggs told The Republic he was the first speaker on the program and spoke for 30 minutes to 35 minutes. A panel was invited to talk about the need for a constitutional convention and Biggs was invited because he has written a book outlining his objections to such a convention.
He said he didn't know who or what the Oath Keepers are, initially confusing them with "Promise Keepers," a ministry for men. He added that he did not know Rhodes, and thought he was being invited by "an Arizona liberty group."
Biggs said he doesn't agree with Rhodes' comments, but said he didn't feel it was his place to speak up and denounce him.
"Good grief! Stop it with your free-speech rights," he said, imagining what he could have said to Rhodes.
He said he wasn't sure when Rhodes made his inflammatory comments but, "Your ears perk up when someone says something like that."
This isn’t the first time an Arizona politician has flirted with far-right, anti-government groups at the same series of events. Last year, then-Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne attended a “Liberty on Tap” event promoting the Constitutional Counties Project, an endeavor supported by the Arizona Liberty Caucus, that seeks to establish county governments that “interpose” against federal authority by defying federal laws that county officials believe to be unconstitutional.
Since then, former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack, the head of a “constitutional sheriffs” organization, has volunteered to run for office in the project’s guinea pig county. Mack also spoke at the recent event with Biggs and Rhodes, where he suggested one thing that states and counties could do to resist federal authority is to “nullify” the federal income tax.
Below is the video of Rhodes' remarks. At the beginning, you can see Biggs sitting immediately to his left.