Adam Kwasman, an Arizona state legislator who is running in a Republican congressional primary, mistook a busload of happy YMCA campers for anxious migrant children heading for a shelter, the Arizona Republic reported.
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The candidate was taking part in a protest Monday in Oracle, Arizona, against the anticipated arrival of the migrant kids who were scheduled to be moved to an area shelter. Kwasman spotted a yellow school bus and trotted after it snapping a photo that he later included in a tweet: "Bus coming in. This is not compassion. This is the abrogation of the rule of law."
Speaking to NBC 12 News reporter Brahm Resnik on Tuesday in Phoenix, Kwasman stated: "I was actually able to see some of the children in the buses. The fear on their faces.... This is not compassion," he said.
Told by Resnik that the children on the bus were actually locals on their way to the YMCA's Triangle Y Camp, situated not far from the shelter, Kwasman seemed nonplussed. "They were sad too," he said. Adding, "I apologize. I didn't know. I was leaving when I saw them. I saw children."
, who aligns himself with the tea party, acknowledged that the children were not migrants and subsequently deleted his tweet.
He is competing with Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin and rancher-businessman Gary Kiehne in the Aug. 26 Republican primary for the 1st Congressional District seat. The victor will face Democratic incumbent Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in November.
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