Last Updated on October 7, 2022
Blake Masters, the Trump-backed Republican U.S. Senate hopeful in Arizona, called on incumbent Senator Mark Kelly, a Democrat, to resign over the continued “invasion” at the southern border. With one month remaining in the fiscal year for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the agency has encountered 2.4 million illegal migrants in 2022, a record-setting figure. Despite this, Kelly bragged about his record on the border, at which point Masters called for him to resign.
“I’ve been focused on the border since day one on this job,” the incumbent Kelly said. “I’m down there all the time, I was just on the phone this week just, you know with Mayor Nichols, of Yuma. Sheriff Daniels of Cochise County, talking about what more we need for border patrol and immigration.”
“That my friends is called an invasion,” Masters quickly interjected.
“We’re working to raise border patrol pay by 18 percent. I’ve got legislation to do that. I’ve been focused on the border since day one,” Kelly continued.
“To no great effect because we’ve got a wide-open southern border. So, if that’s the best you can do, I respectfully request you resign. Let’s get someone in the seat who will actually secure our border,” Masters replied, delivering what viewers and pundits have been describing as a clear victory for the challenger.
Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly: "I've been focused on the border since day one."@bgmasters: "We have a wide open southern border, so if that's the best you can do, I respectfully request you resign." 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/lKxpaL9ZGY
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 7, 2022
Kelly claimed that he has been “strong” on the border, and that he is not afraid of crossing his own party, including President Biden, in order to secure it.
“I’ve been strong on border security, and I’ve stood up to Democrats when they’re wrong on this issue, including, by the way, including the president. You know, when the president decided he was going to do something dumb on this and change the rules that would create a bigger crisis, I told him he was wrong,” Kelly said.
Masters continually pressed Kelly on the border. At one point, the senate hopeful asked why Kelly voted against an amendment introduced for the Inflation Reduction Act that would have required another 18,000 Border Patrol agents to be hired before additional IRS agents were hired,
“Mark Kelly said no, to 18,000 more border patrol agents, but yes to 87,000 new IRS agents. That shows you what his priorities are,” Masters said. “Mark Kelly left our southern border wide open, voted for all the trillions in spending that cost this massive inflation, and he thinks the fix is 87,000 IRS agents.”
— John Kartch (@johnkartch) October 7, 2022
Thursday’s debate could very well be the only time Kelly and Masters face off before election day. The race is currently forecasted as a “toss-up” by RealClearPolitics, though Masters has experienced a jump in the polls in recent weeks.