Republicans seeking elected office nationwide know they are facing an uphill battle thanks to the ugly campaign of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump who has dragged the entire party’s approval ratings down with him. However, one way to alienate voters is to insinuate violence against a political rival which is exactly what Republicans in Arizona have done.
Sen. John McCain is seeking a sixth term and his challenger is Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick. The two are polling within a dead heat of each other, and this has McCain concerned after he barely eeked out a victory during the bruising Republican senatorial primary. To help make his case to the voters of Arizona as to why he should be their senator for another six years, McCain and his campaign decided the best route to take would be to feature a “wanted” post of Kirkpatrick with bullet holes.
Politicians being shot is something the citizens of Arizona have learned about all too well after Democratic congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot numerous times during a rally in 2011. Giffords survived the assassination attempt, but the memory of that day lingers on in the minds of many. A spokesperson for the Arizona Republican Party, Matthew Specht, said, “Ann Kirkpatrick has decided to once again make something out of nothing.” But is imagery of bullet holes above the head of a politician really nothing considering the current hostile political climate?
Considering how the public reacted to Trump’s suggestion that “second amendment people” do something about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, this stunt by McCain will surely end up costing him votes.