Arizona Senate Debate: Why did Martha McSally call Mark Kelly 'counterfeit'? Internet says 'she's Trump's girl'

The 90-minute debate was filled with scathing attacks and namecalling where McSally referred to Kelly as 'counterfeit Kelly' and raised questions about his potential connections to China


                            Arizona Senate Debate: Why did Martha McSally call Mark Kelly 'counterfeit'? Internet says 'she's Trump's girl'
Martha McSally and Mark Kelly (Getty Images)

After months of negative ads centered around the corruption and blame game, the battle for the Arizona Senate race reached its climax on Tuesday, October 6, when Senator Martha McSally from the Republican party and Democratic candidate Mark Kelly faced off against one another.

The 90-minute debate discussed important issues such as the economy, health care, and the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it was also filled with scathing attacks, name-calling and accusations. In the debate, McSally continuously referred to Kelly as "counterfeit Kelly" and raised questions about his potential connections to China which he denied. McSally attacked Kelly, a former astronaut, by saying he took a Chinese flag to space in a sign of his regard for that country. "I'm not questioning your patriotism, Mark. I'm questioning your judgment. "McSally suggested Kelly would empower Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, to take radical steps toward socialism as reported by AZ Central. "He's Chuck Schumer's star recruit. ... He just won't answer honestly to you, Arizona," McSally said early in the debate.

A user tweeted the video of McSally using "counterfeit Kelly". He wrote, “A truly *chef's kiss* moment here where Martha McSally calls Mark Kelly 'Counterfeit Kelly' then doesn't provide a direct answer as to whether she's proud to support Trump.”



 

 

Kelly rejected such labels like "counterfeit" and said he would be more independent in Washington than McSally. "Sen McSally is just focusing on (China) right now because she's desperate to win an election," Kelly said. However, McSally continued calling Kelly "counterfeit" many times in the further debate. “Look, Arizona you have seen a lot of TV ads and my opponent is claiming that he is not a politician and not even a Democrat.That’s counterfeit.”

In August, McSally accused Kelly of “lining his pockets with taxpayer money” in a trio of new attack ads, but fact-checkers poked holes in some of her claims. Tucson website reported that there were certain ads launched on July 31, 2020, that showed testimonials from three Southern Arizona residents. The residents spoke on Kelly’s alleged ties to World View Enterprises, the high-tech, high-altitude balloon company he helped found in 2013 and is based in Arizona. In that ad, Kelly was labeled as a “hypocrite” for publicly criticizing the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program and at the same time WorldView was accepting nearly $1 million in loans from the pandemic relief initiative which Kelly was allegedly tied to.

However, fact-checking site PolitiFact.com labeled that the criticism against Kelly as “mostly false”. It noted that Kelly left World View in February 2019, the same month he announced his candidacy, and played no part in the company’s application for PPP assistance as reported by Tucson. After McSally’s remarks dropped on attacking Kelly calling him "counterfeit", the Internet took note of this. People bashed McSally for namecalling and called her behaviors similar to Trump's behavior. A user wrote, “She was legit terrible. She came with an alliterative nickname 'Counterfeit Kelly' that she used at every opportunity. She didn’t know how to answer about Trump. She was rude. I cannot imagine 1 voter deciding to vote for her as a result of her performance.” “McSally had no good moments. Her continued calling him by the Trumpesque nickname 'Counterfeit Kelly' made her sound juvenile and desperate.”



 

 



 

 

A user enraged over McSally, wrote, "She reminds everyone she is Trump’s girl every time she calls him Counterfeit Kelly. I’m so sick of Trump-like nicknames." Another concurred, 'Counterfeit Kelly' -- Martha McSally dipping into the Trump playbook of stupid nicknames. That is unfortunate. Everything doesn't have to be cheapened." Another wrote: “Can you stop calling people names? You are an adult and a senator and you are calling names? Counterfeit Kelly. You need to act like an adult, not a child. At the very least. A senator, seriously?”



 

 



 

 



 

If you have a news scoop or an interesting story for us, please reach out at (323) 421-7514