Obama says democracy ‘may not survive’ if Arizona Republican wins


PHOENIX — Former President Barack Obama rallied here on Wednesday night to deliver his most blunt warning yet about the stakes in next week’s midterm elections for the U.S. self-governing system.

Obama believes that if the Republican candidate here succeeds, “democracy as we know it may not survive in Arizona.”

“It’s not an exaggeration,” he added. “This is a fact.”

Because of the Republican victory, the former president announced to more than 1,000 people at a high school gym in South Phoenix, it meant “election deniers as your governor, senator, secretary of state and lawyer.”

GOP contenders for those positions are more keen than many GOP candidates elsewhere to accept former President Donald Trump’s false claims about widespread fraud in the 2020 election. They have pledged to change the way elections are conducted in this key swing state — promises they will be able to implement if voters put them in charge of the state’s electoral system.

A Washington Post analysis of candidate statements and actions shows that the majority of Republican candidates (291 in total) in federal or state office ballots this fall denied or questioned the results of the 2020 election. In Arizona, all but one of the 13 Republican nominees did so.

In the gubernatorial race, Carrillo called anyone who believes that Joe Biden won by 81 million votes is a “conspiracy theorist.” “I think Trump wins in 2020,” Blake Masters, who is running for the Senate, declared in the ad.

Asked about her alleged voter fraud in a recent ABC interview, Lake pointed to a series of unproven examples of vote mishandling, but did allow: “If we have a fair, honest and Transparent election. Absolutely. 100%.”

Mark Fincher, a self-proclaimed member of the Oath-Keepers militia and the party’s candidate for secretary of state, sought to require all votes to be counted by hand and give the Republican-led legislature the power to veto the election results. Attorney General nominee Abraham Hamadeh promises ‘day of reckoning’ for ‘those who robbed President Trump in rigged 2020 election’ and combines his warning with image of handcuffs .

Polls show all are competitive in Tuesday’s game.

Obama seemed to personalize what he saw as a unilateral Republican rejection of the democratic game’s rules.

“I stayed up until 3 a.m. when Donald Trump won, so I could congratulate people on the phone who opposed everything I stand for, but I believe in a peaceful transfer of power,” Obama said. “I was sitting at his inauguration. We welcomed him into the White House. Because that’s what America is supposed to do. Did we forget? Does this only apply to one side?”

The former president asked in disbelief: “What happened?”

His comments echoed comments made earlier in the day by Biden, who was once his No. 1 man. 2 at the White House. In a speech 2,000 miles away from Washington Union Station, the president said candidates who refused to accept Tuesday’s election results would put the country on a “path of chaos.”

Chaos was also an accusation against Republicans by Democrats who appeared in Phoenix alongside Obama.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs said Arizona voters are “choosing between sanity and chaos.” Chris Meyers, who is running for attorney general, put it bluntly: “Our opponents don’t believe in democracy.”

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