Pearce, who was recalled from the State Senate in 2011 and was rebuffed in his attempt to return to the Legislature the following year, was elected to the state GOP post and recently was hired by the Maricopa County Treasurer.
He made his controversial remarks on his weekly radio show earlier this month, and they were reported by the Phoenix New Times. Over the weekend, Republican political consultant Sean Noble expressed disapproval of the comments and several GOP candidates and officeholders (some of whom Noble has advised or worked with) repudiated them, as well.
By late yesterday, the pressure for Pearce to either resign or be voted out had grown strong enough that he issued the following statement:
“As an unapologetic conservative, I’ve stood up for the rule of law and our constitutional freedoms. I love this great Republic, and have loved serving Arizona and my service with the Republican party. Recently on my radio show there was a discussion about the abuses to our welfare system. I shared comments written by someone else and failed to attribute them to the author. This was a mistake. This mistake has been taken by the media and the left and used to hurt our Republican candidates.
I do not want the progressive left and the media to try and take a misstatement from my show and use it to attack our candidates. I care about the Republican party and its conservative platform too much to let them do that. Yet I have to recognize that hosting a radio show and the nature of the debates that we have had and will continue to have are incompatible with what our Party needs from its leadership team. For that reason, I am submitting my resignation as a Vice Chairman of the Republican party. I will never back down from standing up for what I believe in and I will continue to fight for the principles that our founding generation risked their lives for. But I have no intention of being used as a distraction by the Democrats looking to escape responsibility for their failed policies. It is time to return the focus to where it belongs, and that is the direction that our state and country should be headed towards. Let’s get back to winning in November!”The statement does not indicate that Pearce disagrees with the statements he made on the radio program, only that he mistakenly did not attribute them to the original author. He then calls the lack of attribution a "misstatement" and attempts to say that he only resigned to prevent "the progressive left and the media" from using it (i.e. the "misstatement"). Cleverly arranged, perhaps, but it is likely that only a few devoted followers will go along with the attempted magic trick.
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