Iron County Progressive


Welcome to fascism': Top Arizona Republican blasts Trump-backed candidates who might try to overturn future elections

By Marshall Cohen, CNN

Updated 8:04 AM EDT, Sun September 18, 2022


(CNN)The outgoing Republican speaker of the Arizona House says Trump-backed GOP candidates might send the country "back into the dark ages" if they win key midterm races and help enact laws to make it easier to overturn elections -- which he said was tantamount to "fascism."

Rusty Bowers made the comments in an interview for an upcoming CNN special report by Jake Tapper, "American Coup: The January 6th Investigation." The documentary, which details the major bombshells from Congress' exhaustive inquiry into the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, premieres on CNN on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.

Bowers was a key witness at one of the public hearings this summer of the US House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection.

Speaking about an unsuccessful Republican proposal to change how elections are run in Arizona, Bowers expressed alarm over provisions in the bill that would've created a pathway for the state legislature to cast aside the popular vote after an election and essentially anoint a winner.

"The legislature, after the election, could dismiss the election," Bowers said in describing the proposal that he ordered all 12 state House committees to consider, virtually ensuring it would never get a vote. "And I said, welcome to fascism."

Overturning or undermining election results is what former President Donald Trump pressured state officials to do in battleground states after he lost the 2020 election, including in Arizona, where Bowers was personally cajoled by Trump himself. Trump failed in his efforts to subvert the election results, but he and his allies have pushed for new voting laws in key states that give partisans more control over elections.

Bowers' use of the "fascism" term is notable, considering the Republican backlash to President Joe Biden's recent remark that Trump's political movement resembles "semi-fascism."