Arizona Republican U.S. Rep. Martha McSally accused fellow Congressman, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, of “treason” in their lone contentious debate Monday as they fight for the U.S. Senate seat being given up by Jeff Flake, according to Politico.
In the one-hour debate, McSally demanded an apology from Sinema for a comment she made in 2003 to a radio host, where she told the commentator that she did not care if he joined the Taliban, the publication stated.
At the time, the host made a hypothetical comment about joining the group that was accused of harboring Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan after 9/11.
“I don’t care if you want to do that, go ahead,” Sinema told the radio host then, according to a CNN report.
The Arizona Republic wrote that McSally criticized Sinema for her stance to close an Air Force base and her days as anti-war protester when she brought up the radio show comments.
“If these are not disqualifying enough, Kyrsten, what came out last week, CNN reported in 2003 that when she was on the radio you said it was OK for Americans to join the Taliban to fight against us,” McSally said near the end of the debate, per the Republic. “Kyrsten, I want to ask right now as to whether you’re going to apologize to the veterans and me for saying it was OK to commit treason.”
Sinema ignored the attack and accused McSally of conducting a negative campaign, Politico wrote.
“Martha has chosen to run a campaign like the one you’re seeing right now where she’s engaging in ridiculous attacks and smearing my campaign,” Sinema said, per the Arizona Republic. “And she’s just trying to cut, cut, cut, and not show the full picture.”
The newspaper said that Sinema never strayed from messages she has pushed during her campaign, even though questions called for more “unscripted moments.” McSally, who is virtually tied with Sinema in the latest polls in reliably red Arizona, stayed on the attack calling her past views on illegal immigration “very dangerous.”
McSally talked about her support of President Donald Trump, calling him a “disrupter” and that he is leading the country in the right direction, Politico stated. She said she would have voted for Brett Kavanaugh to be on the U.S. Supreme Court while Sinema said she would have voted against him.
Sinema, in turn, said that she would work across party lines if she was elected to the Senate, complaining that McSally voted for the Trump agenda 98 percent of the time and rarely sought bipartisanship, per Politico.