GOP Sen. Martha McSally told her supporters to “fast a meal” and donate for her reelection effort, a comment that sparked backlash which her campaign later dismissed as a “joke.”
The Republican senator, who is facing a fierce challenge from Democratic opponent Mark Kelly, made the remarks during an event in northern Arizona, according to an audio recording obtained by outlet Arizona’s Family on Friday.
“We’re doing our part to catch up, you know, to get our message out. But it takes resources,” McSally said.
“So, anybody can give, I’m not ashamed to ask, to invest. If you can give one dollar, five dollars, if you can fast a meal and give what that would be,” she added.
Singer-songwriter and writer Holly Figueroa O’Reilly called McSally’s remarks “sick.”
“There are literally people sitting in their cars in food bank lines all night in order to get a small box of food to feed their entire families for one week,” she wrote. “Martha McSally wants you to skip some meals so she can win her Senate seat.”
There are literally people sitting in their cars in food bank lines all night in order to get a small box of food to feed their entire families for one week.
Martha McSally wants you to skip some meals so she can win her Senate seat.
— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) August 22, 2020
Dean Obeidallah, a comedian and radio show host, called it “selfishness that defines Trumpism.”
WoW- GOP Senator Martha McSally opposes helping people in need but wants people to "fast a meal" and then send her the $ for her campaign so she can continue to turn her back on working class Americans! This the SELFISHNESS that defines Trumpism!! https://t.co/x8ZHg2iLWY
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) August 22, 2020
McSally’s campaign dismissed the criticism in a statement to local media outlets.
“This is a dumb non-story about a candidate making a joke on the stump,” a spokeswoman for the campaign said in part to AZ Family.
Campaign spokeswoman Caroline Anderegg told The Arizona Republic that McSally “would literally give the shirt off her back for anyone” while accusing Democrats and Kelly’s campaign of “launching a misleading character assassination.
“Martha has written checks to people on her block that can’t afford their groceries,” the spokeswoman added while also pushing back on the criticism on Twitter.