Potential Giffords Opponent Questions Her Fitness, Media Access: ‘She Is Held To A Different Standard’

Arizona state Sen. Frank Antenori, a Republican who is considering a possible run for Congress against Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords — who has been undergoing medical treatment since she was shot in the head at a district event this past January — has already laid out his first criticism of the Congresswoman: That the media have not been granted enough access for the public to determine whether she is fit to hold office.

“She is cognizant enough to read and comprehend the debt bill and cast a vote but her handlers don’t feel the media should be given access to her, and I don’t know why that is,” Antenori told The Hill, referring to Giffords’s recent return to the House to vote for the debt-ceiling increase deal.

“It’s creating the legitimate question: Is she able to vigorously represent the district, or was this a one-time deal? Can she do this next term to the same degree of every member of Congress, is she able to continue that level of energy?”“The voters need to make a decision, and how do they do that without information?” Antenori added. “They can’t make an assessment of her ability because her staff have denied access to the media. If she’s back, as they claim, why are they still blocking media access to her?

“She is held to a different standard and that’s understandable, but it’s strange they’re going to continue to [shield her from the media].”

Earlier this week, Antenori launched an exploratory committee to potentially run for Congress, with his final decision to be based on the outcome of redistricting.