Former President Donald Trump appeared surprised at his latest rally when the mention of one of his congressional endorsements caused the crowd to boo loudly.
On Friday, the crowd — otherwise enthusiastic about Mr Trump and his favourite candidates in the upcoming midterm elections — reacted negatively when he mentioned Eli Crane, who is running in the Republican congressional primaries.
“And a highly respected man, just endorsed by me today, future congressman for the 2nd District, Eli Crane,” Mr Trump said. Within seconds the booing began.
The former president looked somewhat taken aback by the reaction and awkwardly smiled while looking towards the source of the noise.
“But you like me, right?” he managed to say with a chuckle.
There are seven Republicans running in the primary for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District, including Mr Crane, a former Navy SEAL and self-described “America First” candidate who hopes to take on incumbent Democrat Rep Tom O’Halleran in November.
Mr Crane has been described as a “carpetbagger” by some critics online, Insider reports, given that he has close to no ties to the area in which he wants to represent. Indeed an anti-Crane website encouraged rally-goers to boo him for that very reason.
The site also claims Mr Crane has never lived in a part of Arizona as rural as the district he is running in, and is therefore out-of-touch with his potential constituents.
A similar accusation has been made of Trump-endorsed Dr Mehmet Oz across the country in Pennsylvania where he is running for the Senate. The former TV doctor is originally from New Jersey, and his Democrat opponent Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman has made the issue a central part of his campaign.
Mr Crane is currently the top fundraising Republican candidate, receiving over $2m in donations. Two candidates running against him, Walter Blackman and Mark DeLuzio have both received a little over $1m. Another candidate of note is Ron Watkins, the man widely believed to have started the QAnon movement.
The primary is on 2 August.
Mr Trump was also at the rally in Prescott Valley, Arizona as a demonstration of support for gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and senate candidate Blake Masters, who appeared on stage with him.
Mr Masters said that the former president “literally saved this country”, and Ms Lake repeatedly referred to him as “Superman”.