Congressman Gallego’s e-book about his time in Iraq: They Called Us “Lucky”: The Life and Afterlife of the Iraq War’s Hardest Hit Unit
Transcribed excerpts from that dialog are beneath, edited for size and readability.
On Senator Kyrsten Sinema and probably working towards her within the 2024 major:
Ryan Lizza: Do you assume you’ve handed the purpose of no return the place you might be undoubtedly going to leap in that major or it’s nonetheless a call for the longer term?
Congressman Ruben Gallego: Effectively, I feel the choice goes to be made by Arizonans. Politicians don’t determine this on their very own self-importance. It’s like, “Do you have got an opportunity to win? Do you have got an opportunity to make a distinction?” And what we’re taking a look at proper now could also be completely different than what we’re taking a look at subsequent yr.
Lizza: In different phrases, you’re not going to mount a suicide mission.
Gallego: No, the distinction is, look… I care in regards to the Arizona Democratic Get together. I’ve completed every little thing, a few of the hardest time, to maintain this social gathering alive. However I’m not going to do one thing that’s going to hurt the Democratic Get together. In 2018, in 2020, I assumed for a very long time about working towards [Mark] Kelly.
Lizza: Oh actually?
Gallego: On the finish of the day, I spotted that two issues are going to occur. We’re going to have a blowout combat all the best way up into the first, and the more than likely factor is that whoever gained that major was going to lose that normal as a result of we’re going to combat one another. I actually have completed every little thing I can to maintain this social gathering alive on this state, and I used to be not going to do it.
Lizza: What’s it like once you work together along with her [Sinema] now?
Gallego: I imply truthfully, we simply haven’t. She’s not right here that usually, so I must work together along with her. However look, we’ve to work together with one another. I’m an expert.
Lizza: Alright. However I perceive there’s a fairly important Senate race in Arizona this yr, and a big governor’s race. Numerous the time there are occasions the place all of the Democrats who’re up for election get collectively and so they put their arms collectively and like, “Unity. Yay!” So is that going to occur with you and her?
Gallego: Oh no, as a result of she doesn’t do this.
Lizza: You don’t assume she’ll be on stage with Mark Kelly? Doing occasions?
Gallego: No. I imply, look, truthfully, she’s not going to be out right here stumping for Democrats. She’s all about herself. She’s not going to assist Mark. She’s not going to assist Katie Hobbs or whoever the Democrat is. It’s all about herself. Like, I’ll be on the market serving to whoever is the nominee. It’s identical to she cares about herself. She doesn’t care in regards to the Democratic motion. She doesn’t care about working class individuals. She’s not going to be on the market with Mark. She’s not going to be on the market with our gubernatorial nominee. It’s not her nature.
So look, I want she would. I might like to be on the stump along with her serving to Democrats win, however she’s not going to do it. As a result of I’m a superb Democrat, I need us to win. I feel we’ve the values which can be going to make Arizona higher. I don’t assume she’s going to do it with me as a result of I imply, truthfully, I feel she cares extra about her profession than she cares about what we will do with our elected workplace, proper?
Lizza: When did that grow to be obvious along with her?
Gallego: I feel it for me, it grew to become obvious within the 2016 election the place she nominally endorsed Hillary Clinton.
Lizza: Like, she wasn’t a full-throated endorsement?
Gallego: No. I used to be stumping for Hillary everywhere in the state, everywhere in the nation. She, You understand, in my view, and I look, I’ll say this. I consider that I noticed the existential risk to Trump earlier than lots of people did.
Lizza: You thought he may win?
Gallego: Primary, Sure, he may win. Quantity two, what he was when it comes to hazard to this democracy, And I informed individuals and I mentioned, “This man may also win the overall.”
Lizza: Why did you assume that at the moment? What did you see in him?
Gallego: I regarded on the numbers and I mentioned, “You understand, we’re assuming that white voters are going to vote the identical means, that we’ve hit the underside.” I simply didn’t consider that. And I’ll be sincere, rising up in Evergreen Park, Illinois, with lots of like working-class white Democrats, by the best way, I simply knew that what he was saying and doing was interesting to them and that might really have an impact. Everybody simply didn’t wish to consider it.
Truthfully, she doesn’t perceive Arizona. I feel that’s really the true factor. I feel she understands Arizona from a perspective a few years in the past, however she really doesn’t perceive Arizona like what’s occurring. She’s working based mostly on previous elections, however she isn’t concerned to see what’s occurring right here. We’ve got the most important microchip manufacturing plant opening up proper now. We’ve got all these biotech firms shifting right here. We’ve got all these tech firms shifting right here. We’ve got Latino younger women and men that have been 18 ten years in the past. They’re now 28 and are beginning to vote. So the attitude of politics is predicated ten years in the past and she or he by no means tailored. She by no means understood, as a result of so as so that you can do this, you even have to reveal your self. And he or she’s not one to reveal herself to what may very well be like criticisms.