Washington Senate Hopeful Smiley: Focused on State’s Endorsement, Not Trump’s

Washington Senate Hopeful Smiley: Focused on State's Endorsement, Not Trump's Washington Senate Hopeful Smiley: Focused on State's Endorsement, Not Trump's Republican Tiffany Smiley, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., speaks Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, at a Republican Party (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Sunday, 04 September 2022 12:58 PM EDT

Washington state Republican Tiffany Smiley, who is challenging incumbent Democrat Sen. Patty Murray for the seat she's held since 1993, said Sunday she's "laser-focused" on the needs of her state and on defeating Murray, and that while she'd welcome the endorsement of any Republican — including former President Donald Trump — she's more interested in the endorsement of her state's voters.

"This campaign has been so successful because we have a strong grassroots movement because I am laser-focused on the endorsement of the voters of Washington state," Smiley said on CNN's "State of the Union." "If someone from our party wants to endorse me, get behind me, support us, that's great."

Murray, she added, "has forgotten about Washington State. She cares about Washington, D.C. She fights for Washington, D.C. I will fight for the voters of Washington state, and there are real issues on the ballot."

Meanwhile, abortion is one of the major issues facing voters in Washington state, like across the nation, and Smiley said Sunday she's pro-life, but she still opposes a federal abortion ban.

Washington currently guarantees the right to an abortion up to point of fetal viability, and Smiley called Murray "extreme" for wanting to pass a federal law allowing the procedure.

"I look forward to ensuring that women have access to health care, contraception, that in a time of crisis here in Washington state that they have every resource that they need to make the best choice, and that women know choosing to keep your child isn't a ticket to a lack of education or poverty," said Smiley.

She acknowledged, though, that she had problems with a Texas law that bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, even though other reports indicated she supported it.

"There were a lot of problems with the Texas bill," she said. "I'm focused on Washington state and I'm focused on delivering for the people of Washington state."

Smiley also on Sunday said she was disappointed with Biden's speech this past week when he railed against MAGA Republicans.

A former triage nurse, Smiley fought for her husband's rights to remain on active service in the military after he was blinded during combat, and she said Sunday that when she fought for him and additional VA reforms, "we were fighting for every Democrat, Republican and independent with a disabled veteran in their family."

"Unity is not conformity, and I think President Biden got that really, really mixed up," said Smiley.

But when asked if she believes Biden legitimately won the 2020 election, rather than directly answering, she told CNN that "yes, he's our president," and pointed out that Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Stacey Abrams have also had concerns about elections.

"We need to protect the integrity of our elections," she said. "It needs to be hard to cheat and easy to vote."

And when show host Dana Bash pushed Smiley on the question of legitimacy for Biden, she responded that "yes, Joe Biden is our president…he is our president and, again, I am focused on the voters of Washington state. I'm focused on the future and what I can deliver."

Original Article