No problem telling who this crowd supports.EXPAND
No problem telling who this crowd supports.
Jim Louvau

Socialism Threatens Liberty, Arizona Secretary of State Hopeful Tells Trump Crowd

Steve Gaynor, the Republican candidate for Arizona Secretary of State, gave President Trump supporters a lesson in Revolutionary War history at Friday's rally in Mesa, and warned that socialism is this generation's threat to liberty.

Gaynor started his five-minute speech Friday night with a history factoid, explaining that on this day in 1781, British General Charles Cornwallis surrendered at the Battle of Yorktown. (We fact-checked; it's true.)

The enigmatic business owner, who hasn't before held office, stood amid a sea of red Make America Great Again hats, against a backdrop of an enormous American flag. He's running to be the state's elections chief and second-in-command after the governor.

"It seems that in every generation a new threat to liberty arises," he said. "Today, one of those threats come [sic] from within our borders, from those who believe that socialism is better than free markets."

Then, he began to repeat an ill-fitting motif — "the ends justify the means" — as he criticized Democrats and the left.

"Trump nominated a bright, qualified conservative to the Supreme Court," he said. The crowd roared. “The left tried to destroy Judge Kavanaugh, because they had no other way to oppose him," he said.

Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice October 6, despite accusations of attempting to sexually assault Christine Blasey Ford when they were teenagers.

"The ends justify the means,” Gaynor said.

Like Trump and Governor Doug Ducey, he said, “I’m a business guy. I know how to fix broken organizations.”

In addition to touting his own candidacy, he urged Arizonans to vote for Republican Martha McSally, who is locked in a fierce competition with Democrat Kyrsten Sinema for the Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jeff Flake. Both women are currently serving as Arizona congresswomen, McSally in CD2 and Sinema in CD9.

Gaynor also slammed his opponent, Katie Hobbs, as being motivated to run for office in order to elect Democrats to the Arizona Legislature. “It’s a corrupt, a corrupt motive for holding the office. Does the left oppose the motive? No," he said.

In a comment previously made to Phoenix New Times, Hobbs said, "Unfortunately Mr. Gaynor is trying to assign meaning to my words that simply isn’t there. What I’ve said throughout the entire campaign is that as Secretary of State I will make sure that every eligible voter — Democrat, Republican, or Independent — has the opportunity to participate in the democratic process."

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