January 5, 2019 at 9:20 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
RNC committeeman: ‘Dumb ass people’ elected Kyrsten Sinema to Senate

In the aftermath of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) being sworn-in this week as the first openly bisexual U.S. senator, a member of the Republican National Committee took to Facebook on Saturday to express consternation over the “dumb ass people” in his own state who elected her.

Bruce Ash, who has represented Arizona on the RNC since 2007 and is one of the RNC’s most senior members, made the comments in a public post on Facebook in response to Vice President Mike Pence swearing in the new senator, criticizing Sinema for her appearance during the event.

“Simena looking more like Senator Madonna than the Senator Barbie Doll she advertised when she ran for election in 2018,” Ash writes. “Her politics and positions will lean further left than the dumb ass people on our side ever imagined when tens of thousands left their ballots blank in the McSally-Sinema election which led the way to her being seated in the U.S. Senate this past week.”

Ash makes the reference to “dumb ass people” in Arizona — apparently faulting his own party for the election result — after a relatively close race last year between Sinema and Republican contender Martha McSally. The contest wasn’t called nearly a week after Election Day because ballots continued to be counted.

Sinema ended up winning with 50 percent of the vote compared to the 47.6 percent won by McSally. (Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey would later appoint McSally to fill the vacant seat left by passing of Sen. John McCain.)

In another Facebook post made slightly earlier, Ash suggests disapproval over Sinema for being bisexual and criticizes her choosing taking the oath of office over a law book instead of a Bible.

“Sinema: First Openly Bisexual Senator Won’t Task Oath on Bible…Arizona Proud?” Ash writes.

Sinena used a book from Library of Congress that includes both the U.S. and Arizona constitutions. According to the Pew Research Center for Religion & Public Life, Sinema is the only member of Congress who identifies as “religiously unaffiliated.”

Elliot Imse, a spokesperson for the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, said Ash’s Facebook comments are similar to words used by President Trump and said the Republican Party should consider removing Ash from his position.

“While Trump has perfected the Twitter tirade, it appears RNC committeeman Bruce Ash is more of a Facebook tirade kind of guy,” Imse said. “Attacking Kyrsten Sinema for her sexual orientation and religion or lack of religion, and then calling Arizona voters of his own party ‘dumb asses,’ says infinitely more about Bruce Ash than it does about Senator Sinema or Arizona voters. If the Republican party has any hope of diversifying its candidates or its voter base, it must remove from leadership positions those who proudly peddle in the politics of bigotry. Bruce Ash would be a great place to start.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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