Paton to Democrats: Bush Story is Baloney

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Republican State Sen. Jonathan Paton has confirmed to The Range that he's running for the congressional seat now held by Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords—and issued his first press release of the campaign, which flatly denies a press release issued earlier today by the Arizona Democratic Party.

Here's the original statement from Arizona Democratic Party Executive Director Luis Heredia:

After months of speculation, Jonathan Paton was apparently convinced by former President George W. Bush that he could challenge one of Arizona's hardest-working members of the House of Representatives. It is disturbing to learn how Jonathan reached his decision. It raises serious questions about whether he will continue to advance the failed Bush policies that resulted in greatest economic meltdown since the Great Depression. With Jonathan Paton leading the charge, Arizonans suffered as Republican legislative leaders spent most of 2009 paralyzed by bickering and then eventually joining forces with Gov. Brewer to enact devastating cuts to our schools, universities and critical services. Their approach has failed, and the budget crisis is far from resolved. We are surprised that Paton, who is an entrenched part of the GOP problem at the state Capitol, feels qualified to ask voters to grant him even greater responsibilities.

Paton's response:

I’m glad Democrats think I’m important enough that George W. Bush would take a break from raising funds for Haitian relief efforts to convince me to run for Congress. Do they offer any proof? Reportedly? From whom? It is disappointing that they would lie from the very first line. Maybe they should turn on the news rather than making up things up. Fact is, I’ve never talked to George W. Bush in my life, and the only president that I can say has ever encouraged me to run for Congress is Barack Obama—due to his failed policies supported by Gabrielle Giffords. Is this an indication of the Democrats’ strategy this year? One based on lies? Just make things up at the end of a slow news day? I’m going to talk facts: 10 percent unemployment, a ballooning $12 trillion national debt, and a $900 billion government health care bill.

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