Pearce quits GOP post over Medicaid remarks
Former Arizona legislator Russell Pearce, the chief sponsor of Arizona’s hard-line law against illegal immigration, has resigned a top leadership position in the state Republican Party after he was criticized for remarks advocating mandatory contraception or sterilization for people on Medicaid.
The party late Sunday night announced Pearce’s resignation as first vice chairman — the state party’s second top leadership post — after some Republican candidates denounced the comments that Pearce recently made while hosting a radio program.
Pearce said in a statement released by the party that he was resigning his position because he didn’t want to be a distraction during the campaign leading up to November’s elections.
He was criticized for saying: “You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I’d do is get Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligation.”
But Pearce said in his statement that he had “shared comments written by someone else and failed to attribute them to the author.”
“This was a mistake,” Pearce added in the statement. “This mistake has been taken by the media and the left and used to hurt our Republican candidates.”