Talk show host Doc Washburn says his GOP rival for governor aligns too closely with “Republicans in Name Only” – RINOs – and that has caused him to question her conservative credentials and ability to lead Arkansas.
Washburn is the Republican opponent of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the frontrunner for the GOP nomination who has amassed a multi-million dollar war chest and support from former President Donald Trump to many local and statewide elected officials.
Washburn said as he speaks to audiences, he’s finding persuasive voters to his cause.
“I was at the Benton County Republican party – Walmart territory – Tuesday night and I got a standing ovation. People were coming up to me afterwards saying things like ‘I never thought anybody would be able to peel my support away from for Sarah governor, but I’m going to vote for you now.’ I’ve got a message, she’s got money. I think there’s a big difference,” Washburn said in an interview on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics.
A former conservative radio talk show host on a Little Rock station, Washburn was dismissed from his job after refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine. He has since started a national podcast and says it has been successful in its launch.
He wasn’t looking to enter the Arkansas governor’s race, he says, but after Sanders endorsed Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., and U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Little Rock, Washburn said the overwhelmingly negative responses resulted in many urging him to run.
“When Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was the only Republican candidate for the nomination for governor, went on her Facebook page and endorsed Senator John Boozman for re-election, and U.S. Representative French Hill for re-election, and got hundreds of negative responses, overwhelming negative responses, my phone started ringing and people wanted me to run against her,” he said.
“When Jan Morgan called me up – who primaried Asa Hutchinson back in 2018 and is now primary-ing John Boozman for the senatorial race – she said, ‘Look, you don’t understand what’s going on here. We’re about to lose our country. Good people like you need to stand up and run for office. You need to talk to your wife and pray about it.’”
Washburn said Sanders won’t answer questions about issues and due to her endorsements, he questions her Republican and conservative leanings.
“She won’t talk about issues. She won’t answer questions,” he said. “There’s an old Spanish proverb: show me who you walk with and I will show you who you are. And she walks with Boozman, French Hill and Asa Hutchinson. And 90% of her contributions are either from PACs or from out-of-state folks. She’s got all kinds of Democrat political activists in other parts of the country contributing to her. She won’t answer any questions about, wait a minute, why are you endorsing all these people who say all these horrible things about your former boss, Donald Trump? He’s the reason you are where you are. So absolutely, I believe she’s a RINO. I believe that a Sarah Huckabee Sanders term would be a third Asa Hutchinson term.”
You can watch Washburn’s full interview in the video below.