An anonymous conservative group on Thursday released a video of Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, a centrist Democrat now running for an open Arizona U.S. Senate seat, advising liberal activists how to “stop your state from becoming like Arizona.”
In the 2011 recording, Sinema — who is in a close race to grab a vital Senate seat for Democrats — is seen saying that voters in her home state were “crazy.”
The speech, which has been widely criticized on social media, has been compared to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s comments about President Donald Trump supporters being “a basket of deplorables.”
Sinema’s speech to the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus was first shared on Twitter by the Reagan Battalion, a conservative group. The leaked video quickly went viral on Twitter and received over 3,000 shares in just one day.
Watch the controversial video below —
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) October 11, 2018
“Arizona, coming to a state near you,” Sinema said.”Because over the past several years people would watch what was happening in Arizona and say, ‘Damn those people are crazy.’ Is it something with the water? No, the water’s fine, we stole it from Colorado. … They’re called Republicans.”
In her speech, Sinema also recounts how she was taught that Arizona was known for “five Cs: cattle, copper, citrus, cotton, and climate.”
“But I would add a sixth ‘C,'” added Sinema. “It’s called crazy.”
In an attempt to distance herself from her past, Sinema’s spokeswoman Helen Hare said in a statement Thursday, “She was frustrated that no one in the state legislature was standing up to out-of-state special interests working to take away health care from children, make tuition more expensive, and take job security away from working families.” Hare added, “Kyrsten was born here, and will always stand up to outside special interest groups to protect and defend Arizonans.”
Sinema’s transformation from a one-time Green Party activist to moderate congresswoman has already drawn scorn from her Republican rival, Rep. Martha McSally. On Thursday, McSally erupted in frustration at a press availability following a roundtable with business leaders and Gov. Doug Ducey, also a Republican.
Sponsored: Leaked video is the end for Obama
“Calling Arizonans crazy and having particular disdain for Republicans, when she wants Republicans to vote for her, is unbelievable,” McSally told reporters. “And Arizonans need to know about it.”
A Fox News poll last month stated that Sinema held a two-point lead over McSally, but with this leaked video, Sinema — and the Democrats — may have lost all hope of securing her spot in the Senate.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.