POLITICS
06/12/2013 09:26 am ET

Russell Pearce Condemns Jan Brewer On Medicaid Expansion

AP

Former Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce (R) had tough words for Jan Brewer this week, condemning the Republican governor for agreeing to expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama's signature health care reform law.

In an interview with KTAR in Phoenix, Pearce said Brewer's decision would be bad for the state, and would threaten the Republican majority in the Arizona legislature.

"It will grow socialism in Arizona at a level that it has never been grown before," Pearce said. "When you do that, every state that has 30 percent or more of its people on government programs, obviously, goes blue."

Pearce, the architect of the state's controversial immigration law, was removed from office during a 2011 recall election. His attempt at a political comeback failed last year when businessman Bob Worsley defeated Pearce in a state senate GOP primary.

During the KTAR interview, Pearce warned that Brewer's actions would prompt voters to support "more government."

"You're going to have everybody in the world that relies on government, so you're going to vote for more government. It's the nature of the beast," Pearce said. "That's what a democracy does. When you can vote yourself for your neighbor's stuff, you vote yourself for your neighbor's stuff. That's the risk of a democracy. That's why we live in a republic, where we reject the democratic form of government."

Since deciding to expand Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act in January, Brewer has faced harsh criticism from members of her own party.

"Jesus had Judas. Republicans have Governor Brewer," Maricopa County GOP Chairman A.J. LaFaro said in March.

"I'm not going to go there with that drama that people are proposing, or rumor-mongering if you will,'' Brewer said of the criticism last month. "I think we can get through this, and we'll do it the right way.''

On Tuesday evening, Brewer called legislators into a surprise special session, demanding action on Medicaid expansion after Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin attempted to delay a vote on the measure, a move characterized as the "final straw" by Brewer's office.

“The governor has been extraordinarily patient these last five months in working with leadership of the House and Senate,” Brewer spokesman Matthew Benson said of the special session. “But it’s time to move forward. This will allow the legislature to complete the people’s business.”

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