"This wasn't about sending a message in a primary. It was about winning the general election, and I am more than capable of winning the general election because of the people of Arizona - just like the people across the country - are crying out for someone to secure the borders, stop illegal immigration, fix the tax code, get rid of Obamacare, grow the economy." Dr. Kelli Ward
U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Kelli Ward (R-Ariz.) said Wednesday morning that “swampy creatures” are trying to find a moderate, anti-Trump Republican to replace retiring Sen. Jeff Flake.
Ward, the former state senator running for Flake’s seat in 2018, told LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham that Flake must have been listening to her when he announced Tuesday he wouldn’t be running for re-election, the week after Ingraham spoke out against him at Ward’s official campaign launch, October 17 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Ingraham and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon had flown to Arizona to speak at the announcement and offer their support for Ward and President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda, while bashing Flake.
"[Flake] must have been listening to you. And I think that rally was really the last straw for him. It was the catalyst to say, 'I know I can't win, and so I'm getting out,'" Ward said. "And really, I'm glad that to see the ultimate Never-Trumper admit defeat and pave the way for somebody — for me — to be able to get to Washington, D.C., and put this 'America First' agenda into action."
Mainstream media outlets, liberals, and GOP Establishment members alike gushed over Flake's Tuesday announcement and applauded his vicious criticism of Trump and the "new normal" he represents in Washington.
"I think that the swampy creatures are slithering around trying to figure out how they can get another person that's just like Jeff Flake with a different name — maybe rearrange the pieces on the chessboard, put a congressman or a congresswoman into that place," Ward said. "And then they'll be able to maintain the status quo. It's ridiculous."
Saying, "it is time for a new generation of GOP leaders" to come to Washington and "set this country straight," Ward condemned the GOP Establishment for thinking it can simply set about "rearranging the pieces" to maintain the status quo.
"It isn't time for continuing down the path we've been on. It is time for maximum disruption of this system that has not been working," she said. "Donald Trump, President Trump, is the beginning of that effort. And we are going to replace as many of the squishy Republicans that have been doing the bidding of the progressives for too many years with strong conservative voices. I can't wait to get there and do the work."
Although Ward may face an uphill battle in a wide open Senate field in 2018, she said that Flake's departure represents a victory in and of itself.
"This wasn't about sending a message in a primary. It was about winning the general election," Ward said. "And I am more than capable of winning the general election because the people of Arizona — just like the people across the country — are crying out for someone to secure the borders, stop illegal immigration, fix the tax code, get rid of Obamacare, grow the economy."