- Former President Trump on Saturday criticized Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey at a Phoenix rally.
- Trump praised Arizona conservatives who backed an audit of the Maricopa County election results.
- In 2020, President Biden became the first Democrat to win Arizona’s electoral votes in 24 years.
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Former President Donald Trump on Saturday praised the Republican-controlled state Senate for its ongoing audit of the 2020 election results while saving plenty of time to berate GOP Gov. Doug Ducey.
At the “Rally to Protect Our Elections” in Phoenix, Trump thanked the “brave and unyielding conservative warriors in the Arizona state Senate” for proceeding with the partisan audit, which is examining the results in Maricopa County, the most populous jurisdiction in the state.
Trump then praised GOP state Senate President Karen Fann and Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward for their support in his effort to review President Joe Biden’s 10,457-vote statewide victory.
Ward, a former state senator who ran unsuccessfully for the US Senate in 2016 and 2018, was called a “fighter” by the former president. However, Ducey, a two-term governor who certified Biden’s win in Arizona last year, much to the consternation of Trump, received no such praise.
“Republican Party chairwoman — somebody that has tremendous courage,” Trump said of Ward. “She’s really a fighter, and she fights your governor, who doesn’t do a damn thing.”
“I called up Kelli recently and said ‘Why wouldn’t the governor want an audit?’ Maybe everything will prove to be correct, which we know won’t happen. … When I did rallies, he always wanted to be in the front row. ‘Sir, could you mention my name please?'”
—Acyn (@Acyn) July 24, 2021
The former president added: “He wasn’t very popular … I’d introduce him and I wouldn’t get much of an applause … and I kept saying, you know, this guy’s not very popular. But now, you know what? He’s not popular with me either.”
The rallygoers cheered at Trump’s proclamation.
The former president also threw cold water on supporting Ducey in a possible 2022 US Senate campaign.
“He’s not getting my endorsement, I can tell you,” he told the crowd.
Last month, Ducey told KTAR News 92.3 FM that he looked forward to the results of the Maricopa audit, but was confident that the outcome of the race would not change in Arizona.
“I do stand behind by what I did,” he said at the time. “I know that there are people that want to complete this audit. I look forward to the findings.”
In 2020, Biden became the first Democratic presidential nominee since Bill Clinton in 1996 to secure the state’s electoral votes. When Biden won the state last year, he also carried Maricopa by a 50% to 48% margin.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a 2022 Democratic gubernatorial candidate, has repeatedly criticized the audit process and said on Friday that Trump should “accept” his loss to Biden and “move on.”
“The bottom line is that Arizonians are tired of being led by conspiracy theorists,” she said. “They don’t support this fake audit and they’re ready for leaders who are going to put those partisan games aside and deal with real issues.”