PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- As some members of the Arizona Republican Party continue to challenge the election results, the organization was criticized Tuesday for its Twitter posts. Some say the two tweets related to the Stop the Steal movement appeared to incite violence.
"It's time to dial it down a little bit here or a lot a bit," said Republican House Speaker Pro Tem, T.J. Shope.
On Tuesday night, House Speaker Rusty Bowers, who has criticized Trump's attempt to overturn Arizona's election results and closed the state House this week due to COVID-19 concerns, was doxed on Twitter. Senator-elector Kelly Townsend tweeted out screen grabs of emails showing Bowers won't authorize a special elections committee. Then somebody replied to the tweet with Bowers' home address for a protest on Wednesday night.
Happening Now: Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers, who closed the state House this week over COVID concerns, is getting doxed tonight. pic.twitter.com/SB3ujSY1oB— Dennis Welch (@dennis_welch) December 9, 2020
Later, Phoenix City Council candidate Nicole Garcia tweeted out Bowers' personal cellphone number, telling her followers to call him to demand a special session, hold back electors for Joe Biden and approve a special election committee. Both tweets have been taken down.
Phoenix City Council candidate Nicole Garcia also giving out the personal cell phone cell number for House Speaker Rusty Bowers, tonight. pic.twitter.com/D0uY66Ae7D— Dennis Welch (@dennis_welch) December 9, 2020
Late Monday night, the AZGOP account retweeted a Stop the Steal organizer saying he was "willing to give my life for this fight." The AZGOP account then asks its followers, "Are you?"
He is. Are you? https://t.co/OY8qxNMPxm— Arizona Republican Party (@AZGOP) December 8, 2020
A second tweet featured the movie character Rambo and the quote, "Live for nothing or die for something."
Shope described the language as hostile and dangerous.
"There are people in this world, in this society, unfortunately, who need a trigger of some sort," said Shope. "That's exactly why you don't usually cross the line."
The speaker said he had not seen any evidence of voter fraud that would change election results, but he encouraged people to allow the court challenges to play out.
"The process is working," said Shope. "It may not be as quick or going in the direction that some may want it to go, but the process is working."
Gov. Doug Ducey issued a tweet Tuesday afternoon that did not address the Arizona Republican Party directly, but a spokesman confirmed Ducey's tweet is a response to the AZGOP tweets.
"The Republican Party is the party of the Constitution and the rule of law," read the tweet on the governor's account. "We prioritize public safety, law & order, and we respect the law enforcement officers who keep us safe. We don't burn stuff down. We build things up."
The Republican Party is the party of the Constitution and the rule of law. We prioritize public safety, law & order, and we respect the law enforcement officers who keep us safe. We don’t burn stuff down. We build things up.— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) December 8, 2020
"This has been more than a dog whistle; this has been a bullhorn calling for violence, calling for martyrs to a cause," said State Rep. Jennifer Longdon. "It's absolutely ridiculous, and it needs to stop."
Longdon, a survivor of gun violence, said the tweets are no joking matter. She called on others to denounce the AZGOP tweets.
"All Republican leaders around the state and around the nation need to call this out for what it is," said Longdon.
When asked about the tweets, the Republican Party of Arizona issued this statement:
"The Republican Party of Arizona condemns all forms of violence in the strongest terms. Fictional movie scenes should be weighed in their proper context."
One of the tweets was deleted, but it's unclear why. Arizona's Family asked the governor's office if Ducey has reached out to the Arizona Republican Party or Chair Kelli Ward, but a spokesperson could not say whether that has happened or will happen in the future.
Political consultant, Chuck Coughlin, says he's not surprised by the tweets. Coughlin has worked for Republican Governors Jan Brewer and Fife Symington.
"They don't want to create relationships," says Coughlin. "They want to be right."
Coughlin says the Arizona GOP must focus efforts on winning elections and building a healthy party rather than issuing tweets like the ones posted overnight.
"It is reflective of the narrative that the party under Trump came to be known for," says Coughlin. "And it's not accepted by most Republicans."
According to CNN, they asked about @AZGOP’s specific tweets and Twitter confirmed that the tweets are not in violation of the rules. The company spokesperson did not elaborate on the company’s reasoning.