(The Hill) — Former President Donald Trump called Arizona state House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) a “RINO coward,” using the acronym for “Republican in name only,” and reiterated his support for his endorsed candidate who is vying for a state Senate seat against Bowers.
“Rusty Bowers is a RINO coward who participated against the Republican Party in the totally partisan unselect committee of political thugs and hacks the other day and disgraced himself, and he disgraced the state of Arizona,” Trump said during a rally held in the Grand Canyon State for several of his endorsees.
“David Farnsworth is going to do a fantastic job. And importantly, I have to say, you have so many advantages. That would be the guy I’d most like to run against ‘cause this guy’s bad news,” Trump added, referring to Bowers’s opponent for the Arizona state Senate’s 10th legislative district, who the former president has endorsed.
Bowers gave testimony before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot last month in which he disagreed with Trump’s claims that Bowers told him that Trump had won the state of Arizona in 2020 and that the election had been rigged.
“Anywhere, anyone, anytime has said that I said that the election was rigged, that would not be true,” Bowers said as he testified before the committee in June.
The Arizona House Speaker also told the panel that Rudy Giuliani had told him that Trump’s allies did not have specific evidence showing that election fraud had been committed during the last presidential election.
“And I don’t know if that was a gaffe or maybe he didn’t think through what he said, but both myself and others in my group … both remember that specifically, and afterwards we kind of laughed about it,” Bowers said.
The Arizona GOP executive committee earlier this week voted to censure Bowers.
“The @AZGOP Executive Committee formally censured Rusty Bowers tonight— he is no longer a Republican in good standing & we call on Republicans to replace him at the ballot box in the August primary. Full press release from AZGOP coming soon,” Kelli Ward, chair of the Arizona Republican Party, tweeted this week.
While Trump was stumping for his endorsed Arizona candidates, including gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake (R) on Friday, former Vice President Pence was stumping for his endorsed candidate in the governors’ race, Karrin Taylor Robson (R) the same day.
According to NBC News, Bowers attended a campaign event for Robson on Friday.