How It Played: Rand Paul’s Ward Endorsement Ignites Chaotic Mess in AZGOP Civil War

PHOENIX – U.S. Senator Rand Paul’s endorsement of Kelli Ward yesterday did one thing – it took what was an intraparty civil war into a chaotic nightmare for the Arizona Republican Party. Further, Paul’s full-throated support – where he even called for a war on the GOP establishment – threw more fuel onto an already raging fire of AZGOP infighting.

All this coming from a party that wants to yank healthcare from Arizonans, raise their taxes, and inflate the national debt in epic proportions. No wonder why hardworking Arizonans are fed up with their partisan discord in Washington.

Arizona Republic“Bannon-backed Kelli Ward gets Senate endorsement for Arizona seat from Sen. Rand Paul”

“Paul said he'd also be getting involved with other conservatives across the country to really make sure that this election is conservatives vs. the establishment.” […]

“Until last week, she was running against Flake, but he then announced he would not seek re-election. He said he did not see a place for himself — a pro-immigration, pro-trade Republican — inside President Trump’s party.”

“Democrats said the endorsement was adding ‘fuel to the fire.’”

Roll Call: “The GOP primary could be divisive depending on who jumps in the race. GOP Rep. Martha McSally, who represents swing district in Tucson, has reportedly expressed interest in the race. But a coalition of conservative groups including the Club for Growth PAC, Senate Conservatives Fund, and FreedomWorks said McSally is a liberal lawmaker.”

The Hill: “…the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with McConnell and Senate leadership, has already drawn a line in the sand by issuing a statement that Ward will not win the nomination.”

"When Washington comes in and tries to pick somebody, the lines are clearly going to be drawn. And in some ways, the establishment has learned that in certain circumstances, people react the opposite way. If they come in and attack Dr. Ward like they have in the past, I think those attacks are going to backfire," he said. 

NBC News’s Kasie Hunt.@SenRandPauI told me on last week's @KasieDC he would play in Bannon/McConnell war - now sides with Bannon in #AZSEN, backs Kelli Ward”

Los Angeles Times’s Lisa Mascaro: “Rand Paul on afternoon call for Kelli Ward in #AzSEN: ‘Make sure this election is conservatives vs the establishment.’”