- The Washington Times - Monday, September 15, 2014

A top GOP official in Arizona has resigned following comments in which he suggested the state sterilize female welfare recipients.

Russell Pearce, the first vice chair of the state’s Republican Party and recalled Arizona Senate president, made the comments last weekend on his radio program, the Phoenix New Times reported.

“You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I’d do is get Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations,” Mr. Pearce told a caller on Sept. 6. “Then we’ll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to [reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job.”

Mr. Pearce announced his resignation Sunday, explaining that his comments had been taken out of context.

“Recently on my radio show there was a discussion about the abuses to our welfare system,” he said in a statement. “I shared comments written by someone else and failed to attribute them to the author. This was a mistake. This mistake has been taken by the media and the left and used to hurt our Republican candidates.

“I have no intention of being used as a distraction by the Democrats looking to escape responsibility for their failed policies,” he continued. “It is time to return the focus to where it belongs, and that is the direction that our state and country should be headed towards. Let’s get back to winning in November!”

Mr. Pearce did not identify the author whose comments he shared.

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