September 25, 2019 In the News

Arizona Republic: On ‘The View,’ Senate candidate Mark Kelly says Trump allegations must be investigated

Shortly before announcing his Senate campaign for the late Sen. John McCain’s old seat, Democrat Mark Kelly called McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain to let her know he was jumping in the race.

The phone call wasn’t necessary, she told him Wednesday during his first appearance on ABC-TV’s daytime talk show, “The View,” but she appreciated the gesture.

Kelly, a retired NASA astronaut and former Navy combat pilot, said he looked up to John McCain as a young pilot, and he was proud to call him a friend later in life.

“It’s not often we get to meet our heroes, and it’s even less uncommon that you get to call them a friend someday and I got to do that, so that’s why I felt a strong need to reach out,” Kelly said.

On the day after the House of Representatives launched an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, Kelly said on the national program that the “rule of law holds our democracy together” and the allegations must be investigated.

The inquiry stems from Trump allegedly exerting pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son.

Kelly said he had not yet read a five-page summary of the phone call, released Wednesday by the White House.

“We’ve got to work through the details,” Kelly said of the inquiry. “It’s a process.”

Nationally, people know Kelly as a retired astronaut and the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., who survived a 2011 mass shooting by a mentally ill man near Tucson that killed six people and wounded 12 others. In the years since, Kelly and Giffords have advocated for gun-control measures in hopes of preventing mass shootings.

Now, Kelly is running for public office in Arizona, hoping to unseat incumbent Republican Sen. Martha McSally. She was appointed to the seat in December and must win the general election in 2020 to hold it until McCain’s final term expires in 2022. McCain died in 2018.

During his 10 minute appearance, Kelly shared his broad campaign message: He would approach the job as an independent not beholden to either political party or outside influence by big corporations.

As a scientist, he said he would approach the job based on facts, particularly on the issue of climate change, where he witnessed the effects of global warming during his flights to space.

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The conversation then turned to Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward’s fundraising email that asked people to support the GOP and help “stop gun-grabber Mark Kelly dead in his tracks.” Kelly said her words “were uncalled for.”

“I think she had a purpose behind saying that,” Kelly said. “I think we can all do better than this, there’s no place for that in our political discourse.”

He reiterated his position that he does not support Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s gun confiscation pledge.

Read the full article here.