Full Transcripts and Video of the Kelli Ward Interview


Rory O'Donnell, Reporter

Interview with Dr. Kelli Ward

R.O. Dr. Ward…you went to school and started your career in Osteopathic medicine.  What happened that affected you personally to cause you to jump into politics?

K.W. You’re exactly right.  I never thought I would be in politics because most of the time doctors don’t fit into the political realm.  I’m a family physician taking care of people of all ages, and I did a health policy fellowship whenever I was earlier in my career and that got me interested in the political apparatus.  September 11th was really the turning point for me.  You want to know more about what was happening in our country and our world that could allow something so devastating to happen right here on our soil, but the thing that pushed me over the edge to run for office was Obamacare.  I saw this as the biggest takeover of health care, liberty, and freedom that we have ever seen in our lifetime…and I wanted to fight against it, and I found myself saying “Why doesn’t somebody do something? Why doesn’t somebody DO something?”  I just had to look at my hands and say “Why don’t I do something?”  I’ve got skills, and talent, and ability. I have been blessed with so much, and maybe I could do something bigger.  I shouldn’t be forcing those abilities just for my family or my patient population, but I might be able to help people on a bigger scale.  That’s how I ran for office the first time, and I’m still here in the political fray.

R.O. You ran against John McCain for U.S. Senator in 2016.  Though you had huge Tea Party support, you came up short, but now you have your sights on Sen. Jeff Flake’s seat in 2018.

What did you learn from your last campaign that will help you succeed this time around?

K.W. You know, we actually…what people don’t realize is we won on election day, so if you look at just the votes cast on election day, August 30th, 2016, I won about 58% of the vote…in a 4 way race.  The team that I had in place…they were young, they were less experienced, because it’s difficult for an insurgent candidate to have enough money, to attract the bigger talent to have done these kinds of things early, and really, they didn’t target early voters early, and so now we’re not going to let that happen again.  We are going to target early voters early so that my opponent doesn’t get the jump on me.  I think we’re going to have a much different outcome.

R.O With the endorsements of Phyllis Schlafly, talk show host Laura Ingraham, the Gun Owners of America, and many more conservative leaders, what is it about your platform that attracts conservatives to rally around you and your campaign?

K.W. Right.  As you know, I was really honored to have the endorsements that I did in the last cycle because they were so diverse.  Such a big group of conservative icons really who were behind me, who wanted to see us stop the establishment who’d been here for decade, after decade, after decade, and I think that what attracted them is that I believe in small government, low taxes, personal responsibility, and following the constitution.  I am truly a fiscal and a social conservative, and I think that that’s appealing to them because, on the life side, I’m 100% pro-life.  If you can’t protect life, how can you expect that your elected official will protect your money, so I think that is very appealing.  I think that I have an energy that is appealing to people and they see me as somebody who can truly help drain the swamp.

R.O. In an interview with Arizona’s Yellow Sheet Report in 2012, you stated you wanted the government to play no role in the decision to have an abortion.  If you were a Supreme Court Justice and the decision to repeal Roe vs. Wade came before you, how would you rule?

K.W. I’d say repeal it.  You know…Roe!  They wanted it repealed, so I think that it’s an overstep.  I think that we have to protect life, and that question was posed to me as a physician.  As a physician and as a citizen, I would like the government out of a lot of things, and then they take that out of context to try to make me appear as though I’m not pro-life, but I can tell you I have a 100% pro-life living record and I’ve never wavered from that, so yes, I think…we’re here in Washington D.C.  We saw these protesters yesterday in the women’s march, and you know, they’re all about abortion.  All about hate.  All about taking down Trump.  Well, they didn’t really know what the march was about, but to see that, and to think that they use abortion as birth control, that they say “Government, get out of my bedroom”, all except for “Pay for my birth control”, it’s gotten completely and totally out of control.

R.O. We now have a Republican President, Senate, and House.

What is it that excites you the most about a Trump presidency?

K.W. Well, we’ve got the House, we’ve got the Senate, we’ve got the Presidency, and so we as the grassroots, we as the people who are out here being represented, we expect not just political noise…we expect results…and I think we’re going to see them.