Republican Martha McSally Accuses Democratic Opponent of 'Treason' 3 Times During Arizona Senate Debate

Republican Senate candidate Martha McSally accused Democratic opponent Kyrsten Sinema of treason during a heated debate in Arizona Monday evening.

At the end of the hour-long debate, McSally brought up comments Sinema made as an anti-war activist on a radio program in the early 2000s. When the host of the show made a theoretical comment about joining the Taliban, Sinema responded with, "I don't care if you want to do that, go ahead."

McSally, a retired military officer who fought in the United States Air Force from 1988 to 2010, suggested that the 15-year-old comments were the same as levying war against the United States. She asked Sinema to apologize for saying that "it's OK to commit treason." Sinema ignored the specifics of the attack and said that McSally had run a mostly negative campaign by using "ridiculous attacks and trying to smear my campaign."

Sinema appeared as a guest on the radio show in 2003 to promote an anti-war protest in Patriots Square Park in Phoenix. After the host went on a long rant that was difficult to follow at times, he concluded with a question about the Taliban.

Sinema said go ahead but added: "What we're talking about here are two different things. When you say, 'We owe something to the world,' my definition of owing something to the world does not involve war and destruction." She then asked to go back to discussing her anti-war stance.

On Monday evening, McSally addressed the clip, saying that Sinema said: "it was OK for Americans to join the Taliban to fight against us."

"You said you had no problem with that," she said. "Kyrsten, I want to ask right now whether you're going to apologize to the veterans and me for saying it's OK to commit treason?" She repeated the word treason three times and sent out an email after the debate explaining the definition of treason.

The three-term Democratic Congresswoman replied that McSally was "just trying to cut, cut, cut and not share the full picture. But the truth is that I've always fought for Arizona, and I've been proud to serve our state in elected office for over 13 years."

The calls of treason are an escalation of McSally's plan to juxtapose her military career with Sinema's history of anti-war activism, in what is considered a tight race to replace retiring Republican Senator Jeff Flake in Arizona.

With just three weeks until midterm elections, a Real Clear Politics poll average has McSally up by just 0.3 percent. McSally, meanwhile, has raised $12,499,752 to Sinema's $15,688,595.