Democrat Congressmen Ruben Gallego and Kyrsten Sinema appeared on the Arizona PBS affiliate KAET’s Horizon with Ted Simons.
In their separate interviews, they provide advice to incoming freshmen and how they see their roles in the upcoming Congress controlled by Republicans.
Sinema bucked Democrat leadership by voting against Nancy Pelosi for Democrat Minority Leader. She claims that Democrats are out of touch with the people they are supposed to serve. Sinema says she will work with anyone in the congress and cited her prior cooperation with conservative Russell Pearce when she served in the Arizona Senate.
When asked about criticism about being too independent, Sinema readily admits to her independence and says she only serves the constituents of CD-9.
Simons then presses Sinema on whether she supports the Electoral College or popular vote to which she responds that Donald Trump won the Electoral College and Electors knew what they were signing up for when they agreed to be electors.
Ted Simons gets a vastly different response from his interview with Democrat Congressman Ruben Gallego.
Gallego refers to the Republican controlled-congress as “radical” and Democrats role as stopping the GOP agenda.
Unlike Sinema, Gallego believes Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election for three different reasons. He blames the last minute intervention of FBI Director James Comey into the investigation of Clinton’s emails as contributing to the 55,000 lost votes in the rust belt region. Gallego then noted that, “Donald Trump ran a xenophobic campaign that drew out some of the worst people in the world.” Finally, Gallego refers to a very organized effort to smear Hillary Clinton over many years and the same effort to suppress votes.
When Simons responds that perhaps voters were really seeking a change, Gallego pivots to the argument that voters will get get “a change for the worse.” He cites Medicare, Social Security, the EPA and how he will fight to protect these agencies against the people who were “dumb enough to vote for Donald Trump.”
Congressman Ruben Gallego does explain his vote for Tim Ryan as Minority Leader in the effort to upend Nancy Pelosi. Gallego then discounts concerns about the negative consequences he could face by voting against Pelosi. He does not believe his vote for Tim Ryan will inhibit his ability to serve his district effectively. He again pivots to explain that Donald Trump is the “severe threat to modern democracy.”
When it comes to criticisms of the Democrat party, Gallego blames the party for failing to execute to help working class Americans. He also blames the media for propagating a message that Democrats don’t stand for something. He also takes a shot at Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
Again, when Simons questions Gallego that maybe Americans don’t agree with Democrats, Gallego responds, “No, they’re wrong [Americans]” citing polling that shows more agreement with Democrats than with Republicans on issues.
Gallego then notes his agreement with former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich who claims there is a “dark cloud of illegitimacy hanging over the Trump Presidency.” He lists his argument as Trump losing by the largest margins on the popular vote; Trump lied his way into the presidency telling everyone what they wanted to hear and, there was foreign government involvement in the election. He says Trump “has no mandate” and even goes as far to say that Trump is an “illegitimate President.”
Simons then asks Gallego if the Electoral College should vote against Trump. Gallego believes that if there is proof that Russia hacked the election (and he does), the Electoral College has grounds to reject the outcome and send it to the US House and elect “anyone but a Putin puppet.” He then goes to cite DNC talking points.
Finally, Gallego notes the most pressing need in his district is the expansion of light rail and transportation resources.
Watch the full interviews here: