Ariz. Speaker Bowers: Demagogues Use ‘Fear’, Weaponize Everything

Ariz. Speaker Bowers: Demagogues Use 'Fear', Weaponize Everything Ariz. Speaker Bowers: Demagogues Use 'Fear', Weaponize Everything Rusty Bowers, Arizona House Speaker, testifies during the fourth hearing on the January 6th investigation in the Cannon House Office Building on June 21, 2022 in Washington, DC.(Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

By Fran Beyer | Sunday, 31 July 2022 01:36 PM EDT

Arizona GOP House Speaker Rusty Bowers, who testified about his unwillingness to change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election results in his state, said he’s since gotten both praise and scorn from voters.

In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Bowers, who rejected the challenge that former President Donald Trump’ had won the Arizona presidential vote, said blowback from his testimony before the House Jan.6 special committee has been harsh.

“Oh, just that I was a traitor, ‘the price of treason is hanging’ and stuff like that,” he said of the response. “But most of what I received was just thanks.”

“I've had people walk up and say, you know — just cold turkey — ‘I’m ashamed of you’,” he added.

Bowers said he recalled in particular the argument he was asked to make by Trump’s legal team.

“They said, ‘Well, we've heard that there's an arcane law in Arizona that would allow us to — that would allow you, if you had sufficient cause, that you could… would allow you to throw out the Biden electors and put in Trump's electors,” Bowers said.

“And I said ‘I’ve never heard of — that's a new one to me. I have never heard of that one.’”

He said the legal team also promised to provide documentation, though it never materialized.

“I saw what they claimed. And so I got nothing. I got no names, no proof, ever,” he said.

Bowers said he believes other Republicans will also step forward.

“I think there's a lot of us that when the dam breaks, how far will that go?” He said. “Martin Luther said, I think, it’s attributed to him, that the drunken sailor will after falling from one side of the mule upon remounting fall from the other side of the mule.”

“So I just want folks to sober up and ride,” he urged.

He said he realizes Trump grew up in an environment that insulated him from the hardships suffered by the less fortunate, but that it turned out to be a burden as well.

“I have thought at times someone born how he was and raised how he was, he has no idea what a hard life is, and what people have to go through in the real world. He has no idea what courage is,” Bowers said.

He was particularly critical of Arizona’s GOP leaders, however.

“They rule by thuggery and intimidation,” Bowers charged. “So they found a niche, they found a way, and it's fear and people can use fear, demagogues like to use fear as a weapon, and they weaponize everything and we all know it. But that’s not leadership to me, to use thuggery.”

Original Article