On Tuesday, Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders made his way out west to campaign with David Garcia at the University of Arizona and Arizona State University. Garcia has struggled to garner support from other Arizona Democrats (and even the state party, for that matter), so he instead opted to fly in a left-wing Vermonter.
Despite having few other options, Garcia’s decision to call in the far-left liberal is still puzzling. Does Garcia not know that Bernie lost Arizona to Hillary Clinton by 17 points, who then lost the state to Donald Trump? Does he not know that 54 percent of Arizonans view Bernie unfavorably, while only 36 percent have a favorable view?
Nevertheless, Garcia has decided not only to stand side-by-side with Bernie Sanders, but also to adopt his radical agenda. Take“Medicare for All” as an example. It sure does sound nice, but a recent policy study found that Arizona would need to raise $4.3 billion to insure the state’s 667,000 uninsured population. That figure is a conservative starting point that would increase each year, with estimates reaching as high as $45 billion annually. Arizona’s General Fund budget is less than $10.5 billion.
Garcia’s “Medicare for All” plan would be the height of irresponsibility. Arizona’s sales tax or income tax would need to double, and the state would likely go bankrupt. Delusional policies aside, Garcia did succeed in earning some attention with his Bernie rallies – albeit for the wrong reasons.
Garcia defended his decision to campaign with Bernie by saying it would drive turnout. However, Arizona journalists were quick to point out the disappointing crowd sizes for the Garcia-Sanders “get-out-the-vote” events. Thirty minutes before the start of the ASU event, Dennis Welch of 3TV noted that Garcia “will need a lot of people to show up last minute to fill the room.”
At the University of Arizona, Joe Ferguson of the Arizona DailyStar said “Turnout is a bit low for [Garcia], despite the big name Democrat support.” He later added that the crowd was “a fraction of the size of the crowd [Sanders] drew in 2016.” Poor turnout wasn’t the only thing that raised eyebrows.
Congressman Ruben Gallego joined Garcia and Sanders in addressing students at the ASU event. Gallego said that if Governor Doug Ducey wants to do something about opioids, he “should cut himself off of his big addiction to PhRMA f*cking money.”
Charming. And ignorant. Governor Ducey spearheaded the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act, expanded the availability of Narcan and effective medication-assisted treatments, and continues to prioritize the seizures of opioids that illegally come across the border.
Garcia’s weak campaign events with a Democratic Socialist portend a devastating Election Day. The only question at this point is how large will Garcia’s final deficit be?