News · Press Release

ICYMI: CNN Report Highlights AZ-01 Candidate’s Embrace of Far-Right Proud Boys

CNN: NRCC-supported candidate praised Proud Boys at September rally for Capitol rioters

Just days after receiving the full support of the NRCC, AZ-01 candidate Walt Blackman is once again facing criticism for his embrace of the “far-right extremist group” the Proud Boys.

new CNN report highlights Blackman’s speech at a ‘Justice for J6’ rally in support of the so-called “political prisoners” of the deadly January 6 insurrection, during which Blackman told the crowd: “The Proud Boys came to one of my events and that was one of the proudest moments of my life.”

Unsurprisingly, when asked about their support for a candidate who praises a white nationalist, neo-fascist organization, the NRCC and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy remained silent.

“Walt Blackman has spent his entire campaign embracing baseless conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, and now he’s embracing a far-right extremist group that helped carry out a deadly attack on our nation’s Capitol. Blackman couldn’t be more out of step with Arizonans – and the entire country,” said DCCC spokesperson Johanna Warshaw. 


CNN: NRCC-supported candidate praised Proud Boys at September rally for Capitol rioters

By Andrew Kaczynski and Em Steck

Key points:

  • The House GOP’s campaign arm announced Tuesday that an Arizona Republican candidate who praised the Proud Boys in a September speech has advanced to the next level of its campaign support process.

  • Walt Blackman, an Arizona state representative running for Congress in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, said having the far-right extremist group attend one of his rallies was one of the proudest moments of his life.

  • “I believe those are the Proud Boys back there,” Blackman said in late September. “Let me tell you something about the Proud Boys. The Proud Boys came to one of my events and that was one of the proudest moments of my life. Not because of what the media portrayed them to be, but the patriots they showed young people: the example on how to be an American.”

  • Blackman made the comments in support of the Proud Boys at a rally in Phoenix last month organized by Look Ahead America, which held a similar rally in Washington, DC, to support defendants charged in the January 6 insurrection. Notably, a few dozen people with ties to the Proud Boys have been charged in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, according to CNN’s analysis of court documents.

  • In a press release and on social media Tuesday, Blackman announced that the National Republican Congressional Committee had included him in their Young Guns program, personally thanking House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

  • CNN reached out to the NRCC and McCarthy’s office but did not receive a response.

  • In 2020, Blackman supported the pernicious “Stop the Steal” movement and the lie that former President Donald Trump won the presidential election nationwide and in Arizona.


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