Jul 31, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP leaders rule with thuggery, intimidation, fear: Rusty Bowers

Rusty Bowers, Arizona House Speaker, testifies at the fourth hearing on the January 6th investigation on June 21, 2022. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers said on Sunday that the state's GOP leaders "rule by thuggery and intimidation."

The big picture: The Arizona Republican Party censured Bowers after he testified before the Jan. 6 committee about former President Donald Trump's pressure campaign to overturn Arizona's 2020 election results, per the AP.

What he's saying: "They rule by thuggery and intimidation," Bower told ABC's "This Week." "They found a niche. They found a way, and it's fear."

  • "People can use fear," he added. "Demagogues like to use fear as a weapon, and they weaponize everything ... But it's sad. That's not leadership to me, to use thuggery."

More details: As Bowers' primary election comes up on Tuesday, he is doubtful he will beat out his Trump-endorsed opponent.

  • Earlier this month, Bowers told NBC News it would be a "miracle" for him to win the election. He told "This Week" on Sunday that "the demographics of my race are heavily Trump."
  • Trump railed against Bowers at an Arizona rally last week, calling him a "RINO coward." RINO is an acronym for the phrase "Republican in name only" — a favorite of the former president.
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