At this point, any Republican who says something in contradiction to the white supremacist in chief is trying their darnedest to either a) create something resembling distance from their morally bankrupt Party while trying to win an election, or b) trying to create the illusion that they might be able to run for higher office in 2020. Right now Republican Arizona State Sen. Debbie Lesko is battling it out with Democratic challenger Hiral Tipirneni for the seat left vacant by Republican Trent Franks—the guy that reportedly offered an aide $5 million, and a lifetime of feeling super uncomfortable around Trent Franks, to bear his child. During a debate on Friday, The Hill reports that state Sen. Debbie Lesko had this to say when asked about the ever-present sexual misconduct allegations against Donald Trump.
“He needs to address them, obviously. It needs to be investigated,” Lesko said of Trump during the debate televised on KPNX TV in Phoenix.
“I don’t know that he can lead on that issue, but he certainly needs to deal with it and it has to be investigated. I’m not the president and I don’t use his rhetoric, and I’m certainly not going to sexually harass anyone."
According to Lesko, she left an abusive relationship earlier in her life and she may be genuinely meaning this. She explained that she wants to be seen as a hero for women. However, as with most GOP officials that say they are not particularly happy with Donald Trump, it’s hard to imagine state Sen. Lesko voting in any way that wouldn’t follow exactly along those lines. In fact, you may remember state Rep. Lesko as the sponsor of the insane Arizona contraception bill HB2625 in 2012. This was a bill that would require women to prove to their employers that they were taking birth control for “medical reasons,” not as birth control. Religious freedom to control women’s bodies.
Democratic opponents of the bill called it “asinine” at the news conference, saying it would require women to provide their employers with personal, sometimes embarrassing medical information. But the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Glendale), grabbed the microphone and said the Democrats were lying.
“My bill does one thing and one thing alone,” Lesko said. “It allows an employer with religious objections to opt out of that mandate. It does not allow the employer to know anything about their employee’s use of any type of medications. This has been a lie repeated over and over again by the Democrats.”
As our own DK Elections team has noted, while Lesko is a favorite to replace the seat, Republicans have been pouring money into that district’s election because they are freaking the fuck out. And they should be.