The Arizona Republican Party on Tuesday said that it took down its incendiary tweet boosting President Trump’s long-shot efforts to challenge President-elect Joe Biden’s legitimate victory in the battleground state due to “copyright concerns.”
The now-deleted tweet, which featured a clip from the film “Rambo,” was taken down following backlash for appearing to encourage violence.
In a tweet posted Tuesday morning, the party retweeted a post from a pro-Trump “Stop the Steal” organizer declaring: “I am willing to give my life for this fight.”
“He is. Are you?” the Arizona GOP’s account quote-tweeted.
He is. Are you? https://t.co/OY8qxNMPxm
— Arizona Republican Party (@AZGOP) December 8, 2020
About an hour later, the party posted a clip from the action movie “Rambo” in a now-deleted tweet. In the clip, Rambo threatens to shoot another character in the face with an arrow.
The tweet also quoted Rambo’s line in the clip: “This is what we do, who we are. Live for nothing, or die for something.”
The tweet nodding to “Rambo” was swiftly torched by Twitter users, including Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), for appearing to encourage violence to push for Trump’s virtually nonexistent chances of a second term.
WTF is wrong with you? You are calling for violence against fellow Americans over conspiracy theories? You will never understand the seriousness of taking a life or laying do one’s life. Don’t joke about this. https://t.co/7mrJWaCJM3
— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) December 8, 2020
In an email to the Phoenix New Times on Tuesday, Arizona GOP communications director Zachery Henry bypassed the backlash over the now-deleted tweet by saying that it was taken down “due to concerns about copyright and fair use law.”
“The Republican Party of Arizona condemns all forms of violence in the strongest terms. Fictional movie scenes should be weighed in their proper context,” Henry told the Phoenix New Times in an email. “However, due to concerns about copyright and fair use law, this clip has been removed.”
The Arizona GOP’s incendiary tweet was posted amid Trump’s refusal to concede and his legal battles in battleground states contesting President-elect Joe Biden’s legitimate victory proving fruitless.
Last week, Trump went after Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) for certifying the battleground state’s election results, which prompted the Republican governor to debunk the sitting president’s unsubstantiated claims on widespread voter fraud.
Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who headed up Trump’s efforts to overturn election results, held both a hearing and a meeting mask-free with Republicans in Arizona just days before Trump announced that the former New York City mayor tested positive COVID-19 on Sunday.
Hours after Trump announced Giuliani’s COVID-19 diagnosis, the entire state legislature decided to shut down this week.