Phoenix (AP) – Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has spent much of Donald Trump’s presidency trying not to provoke a confrontation with the president or his ardent defenders. He almost succeeded.
But when state law required Dossi to endorse the Arizona presidential election results and sign defeat to Trump last week, four years of loyalty weren’t enough to protect him from the president. Trump tweeted, angry at the governor: “Republicans will remember for a long time!”
Since then, the episode has escalated into a public and politically devastating conflict between Dossi and the influential Trump supporters in his party. Those who believe Trump’s unfounded allegations of fraud and support his efforts to undermine the will of voters say Doce betrayed his party. His defenders dismissed the criticism as “insane”.
The row could be a preview of the lasting political impact of Trump’s campaign to sabotage the election results. As the president’s unfounded allegations gain traction with many Republican voters, Republicans will be asked to side – support Trump or acknowledge the fact that Biden won the election without substantiated allegations of widespread fraud. Their choices can have far-reaching consequences for their political future.
“It’s in a situation where it’s not winning many fronts,” said Doug Cole, a Republican political advisor and advisor to ex-governors of Dossi, who is widely believed to be looking to try to win the Senate or even the White House.
Dossi is one of two Republican governors who faced a backlash from Trump after believing Biden won in their respective states. Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp also signed Trump’s loss and refused to support Trump’s attempts to overturn the results. Trump slammed in response.
But many Republican governors and other lawmakers have evaded questions about whether Biden is the winner, and some have suggested they wait until January 6, when Congress is due to approve the Electoral College vote.
It didn’t take long for Duce to find himself at the center of the split. Trump called Dossi as the governor was about to sign the certification of Arizona election results in front of television cameras. The governor quickly pulled his phone from his jacket while the presidential anthem, “Hail to the President,” was playing, silenced it and placed it on the table. He later responded to Trump’s call but refused to tell reporters what they had discussed.
Hours later, Trump began his anti-Doce speech on Twitter, which seemed to open the door wide to his staunch supporters.
Kelly Ward, the controversial chair of the Arizona Republican Party, said she was “disgusted” with Doce and wrote to him on Twitter, in short, “shut up.”
Dossi clapped again at a news conference: “The feeling is mutual … Do what you preach.”
Duce’s advisers opened up to the governor’s critics on Twitter. His chief of staff, Daniel Scrapinato, called Rep. Andy Biggs, an Arizona Republican who leads the Conservative Freedom Bloc, “the nuts” and “permanent resident of Crazytown.” “Have you thought about giving advice? That can help,” former Dossy Chief of Staff Kirk Adams asked a state lawmaker lobbying to cancel the election results.
On Wednesday, Biggs published an editorial online on Wednesday declaring, “Gov. Doce has harmed the GOP cause.”
Barrett-Marcon, the Republican political advisor, does not believe Doce’s problem with the conservative Republican Party base will continue.
“Donald Trump’s Tweets come and go,” said Marson, who previously worked with the Docey Allied Political Action Committee to elect Republican lawmakers. The governor has been supportive of the president’s agenda, economic policies, etc. This hiccup will not disturb this relationship in the future. “
After avoiding Trump during the 2016 campaign, Doce came to embrace him, even when Trump’s policies were problematic for Doce’s allies in the Arizona business community. When Trump contemplated closing the southern border, a potentially destructive move in a country with strong economic ties to Mexico, Dossi backed him.
As Arizona became a pivotal swing state in the 2020 contest and Trump made frequent visits, Dossi was always by his side with huge praise. The president returned the favor by promoting the way Doce dealt with the Corona virus, which he described as a model for other countries.
But he also warned a few days before the elections that his support would not go until now.
“We’re all right, Doug? We’re okay?” Trump said at a rally in the conservative city of Bullhead. “I’d be very angry with you Doug if I didn’t get there.”
Since Biden narrowly won in Arizona, Doce has not lent credence to conspiracy theories raised by the president, his lawyers, and allies claiming fraud. However, he waited three weeks before conceding Biden’s victory, which he only did when the interlocutor pressed him repeatedly. Those who question the election results have appealed to present their evidence in court.
Doce’s split from parts of his party base began earlier this year when he ordered businesses to close to keep hospitals and protective equipment in place as the coronavirus outbreak intensified. But he has maintained the president’s strong support so far.
Barred from running again for governor, Duce faces a crossroads in his political future. Censors in Arizona have always speculated about what he wants to do next. Trump’s loss deprives him of the opportunity to seek a management job in Washington.
He can run for the US Senate against newly elected Democrat Mark Kelly, but he will certainly face a fundamental challenge from the right, especially if his relationship with Trump remains strained.
“In the short term, we know that when the president criticizes anyone … there’s a bunch of Republicans out there, wherever the president goes, they’re going,” said Mike Noble, a Phoenix pollster and former Republican political advisor. “The question will be whether or not these people are sticking to that.”