Doug Ducey: Donald Trump indictments ‘seen as prosecutors playing politics’

Aug 17, 2023, 12:00 PM

PHOENIX – Former Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey wants Republicans to choose a presidential nominee who can “turn the page,” but he thinks the decision should be up to the voters, not prosecutors.

“I think there are going to be consequences for these decisions, and we’re in an election cycle right now,” Ducey told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Thursday when asked if Donald Trump should be indicted in Arizona.

“I think we should leave this to the people. I think this is seen as prosecutors playing politics.”

Trump and 18 allies were indicted Monday in Georgia over their efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss in that state. The indictment mentions similar efforts by Trump in other states won by Joe Biden, including Arizona.

Trump has now been indicted four times and faces charges on 91 counts with just four months to go before the GOP selection process starts with the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 15.

Doug Ducey has a history with Donald Trump

Ducey supported Trump as president and campaigned for him in 2020. However, the Republican governor famously silenced his cellphone when Trump called while he was signing papers to certify Biden’s victory in Arizona.

Still, Ducey thinks the indictments make for bad optics.

“I do think it will be seen in many ways as election interference,” he said.

Trump is polling as the clear GOP front-runner despite the legal issues, but Ducey thinks next week’s debate in Wisconsin could shake up the race.

“Name ID matters, and, of course, if you’re a former president, you have a lot of it, but I think that things are going to change after next week,” he said.

Why next week’s Republican debate is so important

Ducey, who was termed out of the governor’s office and is now CEO of Citizens for Free Enterprise, plans to attend Wednesday’s debate in Milwaukee. Trump hasn’t committed and has said he won’t pledge to support the eventual nominee, a Republican National Committee requirement for participation.

Arizona’s former governor thinks the debate will give non-Trump candidates a good chance to differentiate themselves from a crowded field.

“If you look at the last election cycle, everybody that was talking about the future won. Everyone that was talking about the past and what happened in 2020, and airing grievances, they lost,” Ducey said.

“So, I think if people can make a case about the future and what’s in it for the American voter … a more aspirational message to the country, I think somebody like that can break through.”

Who is Doug Ducey endorsing for president?

Ducey said a number of candidates who will be on the debate stage have asked for his endorsement, but he remains undecided.

“The person that I’m going to get behind is the person that can help turn the page and move the cause of conservatism forward,” he said.

Ducey believes former governors are strong candidates because of their executive experience, but he’s not limiting his options.

“So, of course, you’ve got Mike Pence and Chris Christie and Nikki Haley as former governors, Doug Burgum, the governor of North Dakota,” he said.

“But then you’ve got a great aspirational message coming out with Tim Scott, the senator from South Carolina, who I think could do incredible things for the party.”

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Doug Ducey: Donald Trump indictments ‘seen as prosecutors playing politics’