By Todd Beamon and John Bachman
Arizona congressional candidate Martha McSally tells Newsmax.TV that Democratic Rep. Ron Barber’s description of the GOP as a"bunch of white guys” epitomizes the divisiveness that has paralyzed Congress.
"He prides himself on being civil and not a politician — and he gets to Washington, D.C., and within a couple of months, he’s coming up with a divisive, name-calling, stereotyping rhetoric that we’re seeing,” McSally says in an exclusive interview."This is not helpful right now and it’s not what the American people are looking for — and it’s certainly not what the people of southern Arizona are looking for.
"He’s immediately become a politician, and he’s just starting with the divisiveness,” she added."This isn’t solving the problems that are facing our country right now. This is not solving our debt. This is not getting our economy going again. It’s not putting people back to work, and it’s just not helpful.”
McSally, a Republican, is a retired Air Force colonel who has flown over Iraq and Afghanistan. She was the first American woman to pilot combat missions.
Barber won a special election in June to complete the term of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who suffered a head wound when a gunman opened fire on her and killed six other people in January 2011.
A Giffords aide, Barber was also shot and wounded in the incident.
In a meeting this week with the editorial board of the Arizona Daily Star, Barber said he is a Democrat because the party fights for the disenfranchised and represents a cross-section of ethnicities and religions, while Republicans are a"bunch of white guys.”
McSally was in the session.
"Honestly, I was very shocked,” she said."I was literally right next to him going, ‘Are you kidding me?’ I’m your Republican opponent — and here I am a woman who is a retired military officer.
"This is exactly the kind of divisiveness that everybody’s frustrated with. So I called him on it right there in the room.”
She believes her military experience will hold her in great stead on Capitol Hill.
"What we need right now is leadership, and what we need right now are people that have more courage, that are going to knuckle down and solve our problems, get things done, bring teams of people together. That’s what you learn how to do in the military, and that’s certainly what the people of my district are looking for.
"It’s about leadership,” she added."It’s about somebody’s who’s got the experience, the education and the guts to be able to solve the problems that are facing us — and my service to my country has trained me for that.”
McSally said she was heartened by the large number of Republican women running for Congress.
"We are better off when we have a fabric of what America represents represented in Congress to serve and fight for the people. What we need are people who are qualified, capable, thoughtful, and who bring leadership — and these other gals and myself, in addition to a number of the men that are running, are going to bring that this year.”