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Mark Ronchetti’s rivals for the Republican nomination in the U.S. Senate race are criticizing the former television meteorologist for saying at a climate change event last year that he was a Republican “until the orange one.”
Gavin Clarkson labeled Ronchetti a “Never Trumper” in a YouTube ad showing a clip of the comments made at a University of New Mexico event, which appear to be a reference to President Donald Trump. And Elisa Martinez called for him to withdraw from the race.
During the livestreamed “Talking With Family and Friends About Climate Change” event at UNM in March 2019, Rochetti said he was a “conservative Christian who used to be a Republican until the orange one.”
“I’m afraid that has taken a part of my soul, and that’s not coming back,” he said in the video.
Ronchetti’s campaign spokesman, Jeff Glassburner, said Ronchetti never left the Republican Party and was “obviously joking” in the speech in which he defended the conservative viewpoint on climate change.
“Mark has been clear from Day One of this campaign that he supports President Trump and his policies, and this attack is nothing more than a desperate attack by a failing candidate (Clarkson) to get attention,” he said.
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