Arizona rep.: Left created atmosphere leading to alleged reporter assault

May 25, 2017, 6:08 PM | Updated: May 26, 2017, 6:25 am
(AP Photo/Bobby Caina Calvan)...
(AP Photo/Bobby Caina Calvan)
(AP Photo/Bobby Caina Calvan)
LISTEN: Congressman Trent Franks

PHOENIX — An Arizona congressman said Thursday the left is to blame for the political atmosphere that led to a Montana candidate’s alleged assault of a reporter.

“I have said and stand by the notion that the left has created a polarization and kind of a violent, confrontational attitude for several months now in any sort of political gatherings of any kind,” U.S. Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos.

Though Franks said candidate Greg Gianforte was in the wrong when he allegedly body-slammed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs on Wednesday, he wonders what happened before the incident.

“Sometimes, when people react like this, and it is absolutely and clearly wrong for them to do so, but when they do, sometimes, it’s a reaction not to the moment but to some cumulative events over time,” Franks said.

The congressman said Gianforte made a mistake, but the current political climate is tough to deal with.

“I think that, probably, if the truth were known, that ultimately the Guardian reporter probably thinks he’s gained a tremendous advantage by creating this reaction by this candidate running for office,” Franks said.

“All the candidate did was fall into the trap of letting his emotions overcome his good judgment and it really doesn’t speak well of him.”

Franks said he has been physically confronted by people on the left. He cited one example from President Donald Trump’s inauguration in particular.

“I couldn’t walk into the street without them jumping in front of me and trying to bump into me and push me back,” he said. “It was a physical thing.”

Franks also said it is difficult for people on the right side of the aisle to get information to the public, as the left seems to have a sort of stranglehold on information.

“The debate is not about the issues, it’s about who can scream the loudest,” he said.

Franks said the whole incident should serve as a warning that Americans need to take a deep breath and let their cooler heads prevail.

“It’s wise for us as a society to examine the modality and the way that we approach each other in general or these things do escalate,” he said.

However, Franks said if Gianforte is found guilty, he should face legal consequences and deserves the “disdain of his counterparts.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

The Gaydos and Chad Show

(Facebook Photo/Abraham Hamadeh for Attorney General)...

Abraham Hamadeh’s GOP Arizona Attorney General primary win another Trump victory

Abraham Hamadeh won the Republican nomination for the Arizona Attorney General race in Tuesday's primary, securing another victory for a Donald Trump-backed candidate.
4 days ago
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Bill Gates testifies during a House Oversight an...
Torrence Dunham

GOP Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates: Party may need to lose to ‘find itself again’

Republican Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates said Thursday the party may need to lose in order to move away from candidates who deny election results.
4 days ago
(Facebook Photos/Matt Salmon and The Kari Lake)...
Torrence Dunham

Matt Salmon doubts Kari Lake could win Arizona gubernatorial race in general election

Former congressman Matt Salmon said Thursday he doesn't think Kari Lake would win the general election for governor in Arizona if she were to get past Tuesday's primary.
11 days ago
(Facebook Photo/Tyler Watson)...
Torrence Dunham

Political sign parody turning heads in the Valley, supporting a good cause

A joke that parodies the inundation of political signs on street corners during the election season is providing much more than a laugh.
11 days ago
(Twitter Photo/@Adrian_Fontes)...
Torrence Dunham

Democratic Arizona SoS candidate Adrian Fontes wants to restore confidence in elections

Adrian Fontes, a Democratic candidate for Arizona Secretary of State, said Tuesday that restoring faith in elections requires cutting the drama and fighting misinformation.
13 days ago
Karrin Taylor Robson, left; Kari Lake (Facebook Photos)...
Danny Shapiro

Taylor Robson: Lake is a ‘fraud’ but I’d support her Arizona gubernatorial run in general election

Despite a heated battle to secure the Republican nomination for governor in Arizona, Karrin Taylor Robson said she would support Kari Lake in the general election if the former TV news anchor were to win the primary.
14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Arizona rep.: Left created atmosphere leading to alleged reporter assault