The Republican challenger to Sen. Jeff Flake in Arizona says the attack ads against her funded by Senate leadership are a "classic smear" campaign designed to keep entrenched lawmakers in power.
Former State Sen. Kelli Ward on Wednesday told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" that she's a "threat to their establishment power." And she may be right — the latest poll has her leading Flake by 14 points.
"It sounds like the classic smear coming from the establishment and many of their allies in the mainstream media," Ward said on Fox News. "Those kinds of attacks are ridiculous. People are looking for change in Washington, they want someone who's action-oriented, and they do want someone who wants to support President Trump's 'America First' agenda."
The ads, funded by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's Senate Leadership Fund, label Ward "Chemtrail Kelli" for wasteful spending, and attack her for her campaign last year to unseat Sen. John McCain — "embarrassing behavior, dangerous ideas" the ad said.
McCain handily defeated Ward by 12 points in their 2016 primary, a fact Ward is using to promote her campaign against Flake, an outspoken critic of Trump's.
"Just think, had I replaced Sen. McCain, I would have been that deciding yes vote to get rid of Obamacare," said Ward, giving a thumbs up in recognition of McCain's silent thumbs down to kill the Senate's skinny repeal.
"It's an obstructionary body on the left and the right," Ward said. Democrats aren't the only ones stopping things. The establishment Republicans are as well.
Ward does enjoy the support of Trump, who gave a shoutout to her over Twitter last week while calling Flake "weak" and "toxic."
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