Phoenix, AZ — Tea party candidate and former Bush appointee Vernon Parker struggled and stammered through an 18-minute interview with veteran newsman Brahm Resnik on Channel 12′s Sunday Square Off this morning. Parker could not give straight answers about his plan to eliminate the department of education, his work to defend Sheriff Joe Arpaio, or what he could do to help the residents of Arizona’s 9th Congressional District. The confused Parker seemed shocked that he was being asked about the economy in the 9th district, and asked Resnik, “In this district?”
When asked SIX TIMES about his on-record statement about eliminating the Department of Education, Parker stalled for three minutes and failed to give a straight answer.
Parker claimed that his promise to “get rid of the Department of Education” had been edited and that only a small segment was available for public viewing. Resnik corrected Parker, noting that his presentation to the Tea Party on May 22nd was available online in its entirety. Resnik continued by asking Parker a total of six times to clarity his position, asking if he stood by his statement on eliminating the Department of Education. Without a clear answer and time running out, Resnik moved on to the next question.
Parker was unable to recover from an on-the-spot fact-check as Resnik stops him from intentionally misleading voters, responded by saying he was going to continue to lie.
Parker began his remarks on Medicare by reciting incorrect talking points about changes in Medicare spending. When Resnik pointed out that his statement had already been fact-checked and found incorrect, Parker responded by saying, “You can fact-check it to death, I’m not gonna do away with it.”
Parker blanked on specific areas of need for the Ninth Congressional District.
Parker has recently faced criticism for being out of touch with the district, mistakenly stating that he believed John C. Lincoln Hospital was the only hospital in Congressional District 9. District 9 is home to approximately three quarters of a million residents and contains several hospitals, including John C. Lincoln, the Veterans Affairs Hospital, Tempe St. Luke’s, the Cardon Children’s Center and others.
Parker also faces criticism for not actually being a resident of Congressional District 9. Parker lives in Congressional District 6. Parker’s campaign headquarters is located in Congressional District 7.
When asked a question about what specifically he would do help the residents within CD9, Parker responded that he would advocate to keep Luke Air Force Base open. Resnik pointed out that base was in Glendale, far from District 9. He repeated his question, asking what Parker would do specifically for the ninth district. Parker was visibly thrown and responded, “In this district?”
“Vernon Parker has said we must get rid of the Department of Education, but he refuses to explain why,” said Justin Unga, communications director for Sinema for Congress. “Parker also won’t say why he has defended Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose department failed to investigate hundreds of sex crimes perpetrated on children. Based on his responses to Brahm Resnik on this morning’s interview, Vernon Parker is not prepared to represent Arizona in Congress.”