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Mark Finchem admits the 'big lie' is a fraud during Arizona debate

The Trump-backed candidate for Arizona secretary of state couldn't explain why his primary win was legitimate but the 2020 election was not. Watch him squirm.


Thanks are in order for Arizona’s right-wing conspiracy-theorist-turned-secretary-of-state-candidate Mark Finchem

Finchem — a member of the extremist Oath Keepers militia who was seen outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 — has backed former President Donald Trump’s baseless allegations that fraudulent Arizona votes cost Trump the 2020 election. That shameful hackery earned Finchem — a member of Arizona’s House of Representatives — Trump’s endorsement in his campaign to become the state’s top elections official. 

To give you an idea of how far he’ll go to bolster Trump’s lies, Finchem — along with GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake — launched an unsuccessful lawsuit to ban voting machines in Arizona, premised on disproved claims about potential fraud.

But in a debate with his Democratic opponent Thursday, Finchem was caught essentially admitting that the “big lie” about 2020 election fraud was just a right-wing ruse.

When a debate moderator challenged Finchem to explain the material differences between his primary election in August and the 2020 presidential election, which he decried as fraudulent, Finchem first claimed to have “no idea” before owning up to the true answer.

“The candidates,” he said.

(Hat tip to AZ Right Wing Watch, an essential Twitter follow for updates on the Grand Canyon State’s archconservative lunacy.) 

At around a minute long, that clip is the perfect length for a television commercial, and Arizona Democrats would be wise to make it one. Finchem’s remarks are the perfect encapsulation of the GOP’s hypocrisy on election issues.

That hypocrisy hasn’t been a secret. Dozens of Trump-loving Republicans who denied the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election have gone on to win primary races this year and accept their victories as legitimate despite there being virtually no difference in the way their states administer elections. 

But few, if any, have been as open — intentionally or not — as Finchem was in showing that their election objections were absolute nonsense.

For that — and I can’t believe I’m saying this — thank you, Mark Finchem.