Arizona’s Republican Senator Martha McSally arrogantly flipped out on CNN reporter Manu Raju this week when the longtime journalist tried to ask her about newly emerged evidence that’s relevant to the slowly but surely beginning Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. After McSally faced steep criticism over her mockingly calling Raju a “liberal hack” and refusing to answer his simple and straightforward question, she ardently defended her freakout during yet another belligerent tirade. This time, she delivered her melodramatic defense of her outlandish pettiness during a conversation with Fox host Laura Ingraham.
Ingraham asked McSally if she regrets her outburst, and she insisted that she does not, continuing to outline a conspiracy theory of journalists acting “in cahoots with” Democrats to try and trip up Republican stalwarts. In reality, these journalists are very simply and straightforwardly trying to get to the truth, and avid Trump-supporting partisans in Congress are flipping out and alleging some vast conspiracy.
McSally told Ingraham:
‘As you know, these CNN reporters, there’s so many of them around the capital, they are so biased, they are so in cahoots with the Democrats, they so can’t stand the president, and they run around trying to chase Republicans and ask trapping questions. I’m a fighter pilot, you know, I called it like it is, and that’s what we see out of the mainstream media, especially CNN, every single day, so obviously I’m going to tell the truth and I did it today and it’s laughable how they’ve responded. They’re cheerleading the Democrats, they hate the president.’
No matter her self-righteous posturing, in reality, there’s a much more pedestrian explanation for both her behavior and her defense of it — fundraising. She’s already been using her mockery of Raju in fundraising pitches, and she even got a shoutout from an official Trump campaign Twitter account. She’d been struggling with fundraising. In the fourth quarter of last year, her Democratic opponent Mark Kelly outraised her by more than $2 million, which, when coupled with the polls that consistently have him ahead, do not exactly bode well for McSally’s chances in the election this November.
McSally is getting significantly outraised by Democratic challenger Mark Kelly.
Getting a fundraising boost from the party after she called a CNN reporter a "liberal hack" this morning. https://t.co/oxdkavNb00
— James Arkin (@JamesArkin) January 16, 2020
Although her campaign has maintained an about face and droned on and on about how Arizonans are supposedly eager to elect McSally for six more years, her present position is not actually the result of a single electoral victory. After losing the race to fill retiring Republican Jeff Flake’s old Senate seat, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey appointed her to fill out the rest of the late John McCain’s final term. Now, she has to face the voters again if she wants any more time in office, and the Cook Political Report calls her race one of a few Senate toss-ups across the country heading into November. In other words — again, by all appearances, McSally’s behavior is political maneuvering, not some kind of valiant defense of whatever.
McSally’s mockery of the media mirrors similar behavior from the president himself. Also similarly, according to polls pitting Trump against Democratic presidential primary candidates, the president is also facing tough re-election chances.