Democrat Rep. Kyrsten Sinema’s past outspokenness came back to haunt her again Friday, this time with the emergence of an eight-year-old video in which the Senate hopeful described Arizona as “the meth lab of democracy.”
“As we see in this very quote, the states are the laboratory of democracy,” said Ms. Sinema said in a 2010 speech at the left-wing gathering Netroots Nation. “And then my state, Arizona, is the clearly the meth lab of democracy.”
That wasn’t all. In 2003, she told an Arizona radio show host that “I don’t care” if someone wants to go to Afghanistan and fight alongside the Taliban, according to audio posted Friday by CNN and Fox News.
The damaging disclosures come with Ms. Sinema locked in a tight Senate battle with Republican Rep. Martha McSally, a former Air Force fighter pilot, for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican.
A day ago, Ms. Sinema was criticized for calling Arizona “crazy” in a 2011 speech to a Democratic LGBT group, adding that she would advise them on how to “stop your state from becoming Arizona.”
Ms. Sinema was a Green Party activist advocating against the War on Terror when she appeared on an Arizona radio show hosted by libertarian Ernest Hancock, who offered a hypothetical.
“As an individual, if I want to go fight in the Taliban army, I go over there and I’m fighting for the Taliban. I’m saying that’s a personal decision,” he said, at which point she interrupted by saying, “Fine, I don’t care if you want to do that, go ahead.”
In a statement to CNN, Sinema spokeswoman Helen Hare called the Taliban comment “clearly offhand and an effort to get back on the topic of why she opposed the war.”
The Sinema camp has blasted the release of the years-old comments as a politically motivated attempt to distract from the race’s real issues—the “meth lab” video was released by the McSally campaign—while Republicans have decried the remarks.
“Democrat Kyrsten Sinema was caught on camera calling Arizona the ‘crazy’ state. Now this,” said Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. “Arizonans deserve better than someone who mocks the people she’s asking to represent.”
The Arizona contest, widely rated as a toss-up, is viewed as critical to control of the Senate.
In her 2010 comments, Ms. Sinema told the crowd she got the “meth lab” line from Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” but that “I’m happy to steal it and use it all the time.”