Democrat nominee for the Arizona governorship Katie Hobbs has refused to debate GOP candidate Kari Lake as the contest for the contested governor’s mansion in a purple state heats up and as Lake gains ground in recent polls.
“Well the deadline was today and my opponent Katie Hobbs has officially declined the debate. Hobbs is so terrified that I might bring up the fact that she is a twice-convicted racist, and that her racism cost Arizona taxpayers nearly $3 million,” Lake said in a video. “She doesn’t have one single policy to stand on, not one.
“I made it unbelievably easy for her. She picks the date, the time, the moderator. She even had the chance to write all of the questions,” the former Fox 10 host explained. “But she would rather hide from the voters and let Soros and other dark money groups pour millions of dollars in attack ads against me.”
“That’s her plan. Well Katie it didn’t work in the primary and it’s not going to work in the general either. Arizona, Hobbs thinks so little of you that she isn’t even going to campaign and try to earn your vote, but I sure will,” Lake emphasized. “Please visit KariLake.com/Events. Come on out and meet me and then ask me your tough questions. You can grill me, seriously. I’m applying for a job and you are the hiring manager.”
“Unlike Katie Hobbs, I will not be hiding, quite the contrary. I will be out every single day meeting my future bosses: you, the people of Arizona,” she concluded. “I hope I get to see you out there on the campaign trail soon.”
🚨 BREAKING: Katie Hobbs has declined the debate.
I was right, @katiehobbs — you are a coward. pic.twitter.com/7QJhGg8mwI
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) September 2, 2022
In a letter on Friday, the Hobbs campaign explained their reasoning for refusing the debate with an emphasis on Lake promoting “partisan conspiracies.” The Hobbs campaign also insisted on changing the format of the debate, per Just The News.
“In the GOP primary debate, instead of talking about how she plans to move our state forward, Kari Lake brought almost every single answer back to lies about an election that happened almost two years ago,” Nicole DeMont, Hobbs campaign manager, said in a letter to the Citizens Clean Elections Commission. “In fact, she mentioned the 2020 election and the false conspiracies around it at least 12 times in the hour-long debate.”
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“Arizonans are tired of partisan conspiracies about the 2020 election. Voters want solutions and a governor with real plans to drive our state forward for everyone,” the letter continued. “Kari Lake only wants a spectacle, and she has made that clear in repeated combative interactions with the media.”
Hobbs also said that a debate between herself and Lake would turn into “the butt of late-night TV jokes and national ridicule.”
While Hobbs is unwilling to debate the Republican nominee in a standard debate, her campaign did propose parameters that would allow for a “debate” to go forward. The format, however, is non-standard with the combination of a town hall format and a section focused on a mediator’s questions.
“Each candidate conducts a separate thirty-minute town hall-style interview with Ted Simons, which could appear back-to-back in the same hour,” the letter explained, adding, “Each candidate would have one minute to make opening and closing statements, as in the original proposal. Mr. Simons would then have full license to conduct his interview and ask questions of his choosing.”
Recent polling of the Arizona gubernatorial primary shows that Kari Lake has gradually caught up to Hobbs, who enjoyed a substantial lead for many months. The two most recent polls, conducted in mid-August, show a slight margin of victory for Lake with a current lead of one to two points, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Hobbs is unwilling to be open with the people of Arizona and is using excuses to justify her absence. Kari Lake is willing to speak to people and be challenged, a trend she would likely continue in Phoenix, to best serve the people of the Copper State.
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