“Support the Republican Party of Arizona today and, together, we’ll stop gun-grabber Mark Kelly dead in his tracks,” Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward wrote in an email obtained by Bloomberg News.
Kelly is running on a platform focusing heavily on gun control in a bid to defeat Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz. Kelly is a former astronaut as well as the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., who was targeted in an assassination attempt in Tucson in 2011 – a shooting that left six others dead.
“This dangerous rhetoric has absolutely no place in Arizona and is what’s wrong with our politics,” Jacob Peters, communications director for the Kelly campaign, said in a statement to The Washington Post. “Mark Kelly is running for Senate to overcome this type of nasty divisiveness that does nothing for Arizonans.”
Giffords was shot in the head and suffered brain injuries, but survived, and the couple have since formed a PAC advocating for gun control called “Americans for Responsible Solutions.”
According to Bloomberg, the Arizona GOP email cites a statement by Kelly in 2015 in which he said, “where there are more guns, people are less safe.”
A spokesman for the Arizona GOP pointed Fox News to tweets by Ward, in which she called the controversy “utterly ridiculous.”
“I don’t wish harm on Mr. Kelly. We disagree politically on the Constitution and the #2a, and I’m well aware of the harm his policies would cause should he ever be elected,” she tweeted. “Dishonest stories like this are dangerous and irresponsible!”
She later tweeted out a picture of a dictionary of idioms, and a lengthy definition of the term.
“Ordered another 20 copies for friends in the media who apparently didn’t major in English,” she tweeted.