Trump's Trip To Arizona Poses A Delicate Problem For Politicians

Arizona Republicans nearing re-election are distancing themselves from the president — but not too much.
Posted at 5:10 PM, Aug 23, 2017

President Donald Trump's campaign-style rally planned for Tuesday in Phoenix puts some politicians in an awkward spot. 

The city's mayor, who's a Democrat, asked last week that the president reschedule his visit amid growing backlash in response to Trump's take on the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Trump condemned the KKK, the so-called alt-right and white supremacists involved in the violence, but he has continued to say counterprotesters are also to blame

Also complicating Trump's Phoenix rally: his potential pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt after his department failed to follow a court order to stop racial profiling practices.

The state's Republican governor, Doug Ducey, told news outlet the Arizona Republic he plans to skip the rally but will still greet Trump when his plane touches down in the state. 

A political science professor told the Arizona Republic the handshake on the tarmac is the  "least public way possible" for Ducey to show respect to Trump.

The professor noted that Ducey is up for re-election next year, so he needs to appeal to voters with various of opinions of Trump if he wants to hold on to his position. 

A different Republican Arizona lawmaker has already learned what can happen to your base if you appear critical of Trump. 

U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake is known as one of the loudest Trump critics in the Republican party, as well as one of the least popular senators in the U.S.  

Last week, Trump actively campaigned against Flake, who's up for re-election next year.