Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk just received some extremely unexpected praise from the most unlikely of sources, Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone, a Democrat.
Speaking to reporters during a press conference Saturday afternoon, Penzone complained about unruly protesters showing up to raise concerns about how long it’s taking the county to count the votes from Tuesday’s election.
But while complaining about the protesters, he also took some time to give a personal shout-out to Kirk for having posted a tweet encouraging the protesters to behave themselves.
“This is an odd one. I am going to give a shoutout to somebody, I guess, a young man named Charlie Kirk, who is part of an organization that I don’t have a lot of familiarity with it. But he sent out a message and said be law-abiding, and please don’t gather around the county facilities, and let folks do their job, or something to that extent,” the sheriff said.
“It seems his words resonated. He is viewed as a leader in some factions and some groups, and they responded to it. That’s helpful for law enforcement. We really care about this building, this vote, these people and this law enforcement community. Help us get our job done. And those types of things are helpful,” he added.
Below is the tweet from Kirk that inspired Penzone’s unexpected praise:
In Arizona— don’t show up outside County buildings, don’t tweet or say stupid things. Don’t give them an excuse to stop counting votes. I am confident the grassroots have observers everywhere and they can’t delay much longer.
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) November 12, 2022
Kirk was fortunate, because Penzone spent most of the press conference chiding the protesters and the people who’ve been egging them on.
“Folks can get emotional. There’s a lot at stake. They can sometimes actually irresponsibly. There are a lot of folks who are very comfortable in saying things that are unkind, and often times volatile or disrespectful. But it’s important for people to be adults in the room when some are acting like children,” he said.
“And I don’t mean to cast disparaging words individually but we know there’s some people that get overzealous and do things that give us cause for concern. Otherwise, the sheriff wouldn’t be here talking to you.
Listen to his full remarks below:
As an example of “overzealous” behavior, he then referenced some unnamed elected official.
“And we saw yesterday, there were tweets going out from at least one elected official, summoning folks to come here today and to be heard. And it gave me some cause for concern for some pause. Because you may be well-intended. That doesn’t mean that everyone in your calling has the same intentions. It can empower them into a space where bad things can happen,” he said.
“So we were very concerned. We made sure that we once again dedicated additional resources because we want to see a safe environment, at the cost of other needs around the county for law enforcement, the cost of taxpayer dollars, deputies in addition to those we had stationed here, came to the facility and made everything safe. As for the crowd outside, they were peaceful. They had an objective,” he added.
It’s believed he was referencing this tweet from Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers, a Republican politician who’s faced relentless attacks from the media for questioning the results of the 2020 presidential election.
PATRIOTS RISE UP to RALLY tomorrow SATURDAY NOON at the Maricopa County Elections office (510 S. 3rd Ave. Phoenix) to pray for the Light to shine in the darkness and for His truth to be revealed! @KariLake @bgmasters @AbrahamHamadeh @RealMarkFinchem @BenBergquam pic.twitter.com/JXJm5bBQDy
— Wendy Rogers (@WendyRogersAZ) November 12, 2022
All this comes as Arizona continues to count ballots, despite nearly a week having passed since the 2022 midterm elections.
As of Sunday morning, the Arizona gubernatorial race remained uncalled, though Democrat nominee Katie Hobbs had nearly a 35,000 vote advantage over Republican nominee Kari Lake.
Maricopa County in particular was counting ballots extremely slowly. It didn’t help that county officials were busy talking trash on Twitter.
Indeed, in tweets posted Saturday afternoon via the city’s official Twitter account, the officials mocked the concerned citizens who’ve voiced questions about how long it’s taking them to count ballots from last week’s midterm elections.
“DISINFORMATION SUPER SPREADERS: Please read Arizona election law & the elections procedures manual before asking leading questions about how something seems suspicious. There are processes + checks and balances in place to make sure every legal vote is only counted once,” they wrote.
“SOCIAL MEDIA BOTS: Your disapproval is duly noted but your upvotes and retweets will not be part of this year’s totals. This is not meant as an affront to your robot overlords, it’s just not allowed for in Arizona law,” they added.
The cocky sets of tweets were not well-received.
‘Astonishing arrogance’: STILL counting, Maricopa County has time to clap back at critics on Twitter · American Wire News https://t.co/mEj158tZCQ
— BobELee (@BobELee7) November 13, 2022
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