July 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm / by Hannah Thoreson
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It’s only Tuesday, but it’s already been the worst week ever for Russell Pearce. Well, maybe the second-worst week. But this one ranks pretty high on the list of recent gaffes for senate district 25 candidate Russell Pearce.
Last week Pearce was implicated in a string of 1,000+ emails he forwarded from his official legislative and private email accounts with statements like, “I’m a racist because I don’t want to be taxed to pay for a prison population comprised of mainly Hispanics, Latinos and Mexicans, or whatever else you wish to call them.”
On Friday, Pearce told ABC15: “The words are not [mine]. All part of a smear campaign. They were not even my emails. They were emails that I forwarded from a great patriot… and he used metaphors, he never used racist terms, he never called anybody names, he used metaphors. And you know, yet they’d have you believe that these terrible things have been said. Simply not true.”
Metaphors such as:
“Can we maintain our social fabric as a nation with Spanish fighting English for dominance? It’s like injecting yourself with cancer cells to see what will happen. It’s like importing leper colonies and hope we don’t catch leprosy. It’s like importing thousands of Islamic jihadists and hope they adapt to the American Dream.”
That’s enough controversy for most individuals to last a lifetime, but then Friday night, Pearce blamed the victims of the Aurora shooting for a lack of courage in a post on his Facebook page. “Where were the men of flight 93???? Someone should have stopped this man. Someone could have stopped this man. Lives were lost because of a bad man, not because he had a weapon, but because no one was prepared to stop it. Had they been prepared to save their lives or lives of others, lives would have been saved.” Pearce later removed these comments from his Facebook page and replaced them with an apology. The apology was certainly needed, but the damage may already been done. Will his comments impact voters’ opinions in this August’s highly-contested primary election facing Mesa businessman Bob Worsley?
Then, yesterday, Pat McMahon at KPHO summed up the opinions of many Arizonans when he posted an open letter starting off, “Dear Mr. Pearce: Shut up!”, and ending, “Are you demeaning the courage of those who shielded others or the commitment of the members of the Air Force and Navy, now dead, who were in that theater? Don’t misunderstand me Russell Pearce. I don’t want your guns. I just want you to be quiet for a little while. It’s not polite to talk while America is in mourning.”