You hate to see it.
Things are going great in your effort to become a U.S. senator: you’re crushing your general election opponent both in the polls and donations haul, PACs are filling the airwaves and online with nasty, dishonest ads against your governor-appointed, incumbent adversary.
Then this happens… The Arizona Republic, the largest newspaper in the state of Arizona and the ostensible paper of record for the movers and shakers in the capital city, Phoenix, publishes an embarrassing endorsement for your GOP rival, barely thirty days before Election Day, from these three gentlemen.
I’ve included the bios the Republic placed beneath the article first, so you know who you’re hearing from.
Tom Stafford is a former NASA astronaut, Air Force test pilot and deputy chief of staff for research, development and acquisition. Charlie Duke is a former astronaut and USAF test pilot. Jack Lousma was pilot of the Skylab 3 Space Station mission and commander of the third space shuttle orbital test flight.
It begins with praise for Sen. Martha McSally and her personal accomplishments in the Air Force and military:
As former fighter pilots and test pilots, we know what it takes to get in the cockpit of a fighter jet for a test flight or combat: incredible determination, strength and grit.
That’s why we support Sen. Martha McSally. As the first woman in U.S. history to fly a fighter jet in combat and command a fighter squadron, she broke barriers in the Air Force and the military.
We remember a not-so-distant past when the Air Force wouldn’t let women fly in combat. Instead of sitting down accepting the status quo, McSally stood up, fought for change and made strides for generations of women to follow her.
“Integrity first, Service before self, Excellence in all we do.” That Air Force motto guided McSally’s time in uniform and embodies the way she continues to serve our country by representing Arizona in the Senate.
McSally delivered results for Arizona. Just look at the stats:
She was ranked as one of the most bipartisan senators last year and tied for the most bills passed into law. Just this year, she introduced legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs, started the national Veterans Treatment Courts to help improve the lives of veterans, and she helped write the legislation that gave families and small businesses help to get through the novel coronavirus.
Whether it’s helping secure funds for Fort Huachuca, leading on the Drought Contingency Plan or getting Congress to pass land exchanges that give local control back to Arizona, Martha springs into action when her constituents reach out to her with a problem.
While Martha’s record of accomplishments is long and well-documented, her opponent’s positions are largely unknown.
And here’s the stinging rebuke of the former astronaut and husband of former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), who’re both unashamed gun-grabbers:
Just like Mark Kelly, we were astronauts. We know what it takes to climb aboard a spacecraft, we’ve done it many times. We’ve flown in the Gemini and Apollo projects, walked on the moon, and combined we’ve spent many days in space. As astronauts and veterans, we honor the service of every single American who has served their country alongside us.
‘Astronaut’ can’t hide Kelly’s leftist agenda
But having “astronaut” on your resume does not mean you’d be a good U.S. senator. Mark Kelly is hoping Arizonans are so impressed with his background that they ignore the fact that he’s supported radical gun control activists, that his plan for the eventual government takeover of health care would end Medicare as we know it, and that he’d vote to raise our taxes.
On some of the more extreme policies of the Democrat Party, Mark has tried to stay quiet. We can only think of one reason: He doesn’t want to answer for his liberal political views and policies and those of his party.
Frankly, this new Democrat Party is unrecognizable to us. If you told us even one decade ago ideas like police defunding, open borders, ICE abolishment, government-controlled health care, the Green New Deal and major tax increases would be mainstream among Democrats, we wouldn’t have believed you.
But here we are.
The op-ed ends with this flourish:
Mark Kelly has to answer for the policies of his party because if he were elected, that’s what would become law in a Democrat-controlled government. They’re planning on taking away the filibuster — the higher vote threshold to pass legislation — to push through their agenda over the objections of hundreds of millions of Americans. This is not hypothetical. Democrats laid out their strategy in plain sight.
McSally has delivered for Arizona, while Mark Kelly embraces Democrat ideology that would be bad for our country — leaving us with less freedoms, less security and less control of our lives.
We know McSally is the fighter Arizona and our country need for this defining moment for future generations. The choice for November is clear, and that’s why we are supporting Sen. Martha McSally.
The most recent, Real Clear Politics polling average, from polls taken through the end of September, shows Kelly with a six-point lead over McSally, the smallest lead in months. Kelly has had the polling advantage for more than a year, since last August, when he led Sen. McSally by five points. But, at time, the businessman has boasted a double-digit lead; for example, the latest spike — an astounding 17 points — came in a Fox News poll taken from August 29 through September 1.
It says something about McSally’s campaign that she’s managed to climb back from a deficit like that so quickly.
But back to Mark Kelly. When your fellow astronauts have no problem dissing you in front of the whole world, that ain’t a good sign.
As they say, that’s gonna leave a mark (no pun intended).