Arizona Senate Debate: Martha McSally slammed for fumbling while defending support for Trump against Mark Kelly

'When asked if she's proud of Trump, McSally won't directly answer. She was asked this (at least) three times,' a user noted

                            Arizona Senate Debate: Martha McSally slammed for fumbling while defending support for Trump against Mark Kelly
Martha McSally (Getty Images)

Democrat Mark Kelly and Senator Martha McSally participated in the only Senate debate on October 6. The 90-minute debate was hosted by The Arizona Republic, Arizona PBS, KJZZ-FM (91.5) and Arizona Public Media.

The debate takes place at a time when McSally is trailing in the polls and the ballots are set to be mailed to voters on October 7, according to a report by azcentral. The report also notes that the debate comes in the midst of the pandemic and with an urgency by Senate Republicans to appoint US Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the vacancy on the Supreme Court. And, this might lead to some heat on the candidates about the future of Arizona.

According to azcentral, this particular race is arguably more significant than most Senate races across the country because it is a special election to complete the remainder of the final term won by the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Social media was also keeping a watch on this debate. Matt McDermott, pollster and vice president of Whitman Insight Strategies, shared a clip of McSally and wrote: "Martha McSally fumbling over herself to defend her support for Donald Trump." In the clip, McSally was asked, "Are you proud of your support for president [Donald] Trump?" She is heard saying, "I am proud of fighting for Arizona every single day."

She is asked again, "Is it a 'yes' or a 'no'?" She continued, "Putting legislation on president Trump's desk.” She is interrupted with the query, "So, you’re proud of your support for the president?" McSally continued, "You look at the legislation we put on his desk, it is a ‘cut Arizona taxes'." The moderator says, “It sounds like you are proud of your support.” She answers, "I am proud of fighting for Arizona." She added, "The question is why was he [pointing at her opponent] wanting to support Bernie Sanders."


Soon, there were others who shared their opinions on McSally. Reporter Steven Dennis said, "This was kind of a moment. In most polls, McSally has been doing worse than Trump." Associate Editor of Sabato's Crystal Ball, J Miles Coleman, tweeted, "When asked if she's proud of Trump, McSally won't directly answer. She was asked this (at least) three times. #azsen."

One user alleged, “The Trump/McSally failure on Covid-19 is obvious and McSally can't address it directly.” Another said, M"cSally did so bad in the debate tonight against @CaptMarkKelly. All she could do was name call. You should have seen her dance when asked 'Are you proud of your support for Trump?' She never answered it. I'm a Republican and I am voting for Mark Kelly."

A user said, "Martha McSally is almost as unbearable to watch as tRump in a debate. No substance and constant deflection. Go @CaptMarkKelly."










Who is Martha McSally?

She served in the United States Air Force from 1988 to 2010, achieving the rank of Colonel. McSally was the first US woman to fly in combat and the first woman to command a squadron. According to Vox, in 1995, McSally became the first female fighter pilot to serve in combat, while flying in a mission in Iraq. Later, she went on to become the first female commander of a fighter squadron.

While overseas in Saudi Arabia, she challenged a rule that required female service members to wear traditional abayas — long-sleeve, floor-length dresses — when they went off base. Ultimately, she sued then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld over this condition, observing that male service members were not required to wear the formal dress of their host country in the same circumstances. She secured a change in policy.

She was elected to the House of Representatives in 2014 and served two terms. In 2018, McSally was the Republican nominee in Arizona's US Senate election and lost to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. After interim Senator Jon Kyl resigned from the state's other Senate seat, Governor Doug Ducey selected McSally to replace him.

In 2017, McSally voted with her party against a resolution that would have made the House to request 10 years of Trump's tax returns — which would then have been reviewed by the House Ways and Means Committee. In December 2019, during the impeachment inquiry of Trump over his alleged attempts to get the President of Ukraine to announce an investigation into his political opponent, she conveyed that she wasn’t convinced that POTUS should be impeached.

Also, during Trump's Senate impeachment trial, she voted against allowing additional witnesses and documents and voted to acquit Trump of all charges. In 2019, during a hearing on Sexual Assault and Misconduct in the Military, McSally revealed that she had been raped by one of her superior officers while serving in the Air Force. She did not disclose the name of the officer but did express displeasure over how the system addressed sexual abuse on the force.
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