Ahead of Trump’s campaign-style rally in Phoenix tomorrow, Arizona’s Republican governor Doug Ducey has announced that he will not attend the event.
Ducey’s spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said, “Governor Ducey’s focus has been working with law enforcement toward a safe event in downtown Phoenix for all those involved and in the area. That will continue to be his priority during the event and afterwards.”
The governor’s decision comes amid the President’s public feud with the state’s two Republican Senators. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) wrote a scathing op-ed in Politico entitled “My Party is in Denial About Donald Trump” and further criticized him in his book, “Conscience of a Conservative.”
Trump, in typical fashion, struck back at the Senator with a tepid epithet – “Flake Jeff Flake,” certainly not the President’s best work – and a personal attack before going on to promote Kelli Ward, his primary opponent.
Great to see that Dr. Kelli Ward is running against Flake Jeff Flake, who is WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate. He's toxic!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
Trump’s relationship with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has also been strained since the longtime Senator voted against the Senate’s “skinny repeal” of Obamacare. Most recently, McCain castigated the President’s abhorrent response to the white supremacy rally in Charlottesville in which he drew equivalency between literal neo-Nazis and the activists who showed up to oppose them.
There's no moral equivalency between racists & Americans standing up to defy hate& bigotry. The President of the United States should say so
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) August 16, 2017
Trump’s visit was already cast in the national spotlight when Phoenix mayor Greg Stanton implored him to delay his rally. Stanton feared that the President’s presence would only serve to fan the flames of unrest if he decided to pardon the controversial sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was recently found guilty of criminal contempt.
Trump’s decision to follow through with his self-congratulatory rally is evidence that the President would rather stubbornly promote his vile agenda than consider the fact that his presence may only stoke further violence. While he may seek constant validation from what dwindling fans he has left, his own party’s leaders will not be among them.
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.