Daniel McCarthy, a Republican mounting a 2020 primary challenge to Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ), made waves this week after he seemingly compared himself to Jesus in a Facebook comment.
McCarthy, a cosmetic company executive from Glendale who has never held political office, was responding to criticism about his decision to challenge McSally. “I am qualified for the job. Jesus was 33 when he saved the world,” McCarthy wrote.
His comment was made in a private Facebook group for Republicans, according to the Arizona Republic.
McCarthy defended his response in an interview with the Arizona Republic, saying he was responding to an argument that he was too young to run for Senate. “I would never compare myself to Jesus,” McCarthy, 34, said. “I would never even come close to comparing myself to Jesus Christ. I made reference to his age when he was crucified.”
This marks just the latest controversy for McCarthy since he declared his campaign in August. McCarthy made national news last week after telling an Arizona radio host that the United States should annex Mexico.
Since announcing his campaign, McCarthy has tried to position himself as a more conservative alternative to McSally. Beyond his unusual annexation proposal, he has praised the 2017 Republican tax law, which disproportionately benefited corporations and the wealthiest Americans, according to several different reports.
McCarthy also supports repeal of the Affordable Care Act, despite the severe consequences it could have for Arizonans, including the potential loss of protections for the 2.8 million Arizonans who live with pre-existing conditions.
Jesus didn’t respond to Copper Courier’s request for comment but in the past has gone on the record in support of caring for the poor and sick.