Katie Hobbs responds to PBS debate drama regarding Kari Lake

In a one-on-one interview, Arizona gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs said she made the right decision in not debating Kari Lake.
Published: Oct. 14, 2022 at 6:30 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — As early ballots arrive in the mail, the polls show the Arizona governor’s race is a toss-up. Right now, the issue dominating this nationally watched matchup is the debate or lack thereof. Democrat Katie Hobbs refused to debate republican Kari Lake and this all boiled over this week with Lake lashing out at Hobbs. Arizona’s Family had a one-on-one interview with Hobbs on Friday, where she said she is not changing her mind on the debate issue. She was adamant that there is no way she will debate Lake on the same stage. She thinks it’s pointless to debate someone who can’t acknowledge facts about the 2020 election, which Lake has said over and over was stolen from Donald Trump.

Lake has framed the fight over debating as a job interview with voters that Hobbs doesn’t deserve the job if she doesn’t show up. On Wednesday, Lake attacked Hobbs as being unprepared to be the state’s chief executive and accused her Democratic opponent of being scared. On Friday, Hobbs fired back. “What Kari Lake did, pulled on Wednesday, her tantrum, absolutely underscores that we made the right decision. She has made it clear that she is not interested in having a substantive conversation about the issues, that she’s not willing to take hard questions that will show her for the person she is, having the lack of solutions for any of the issues we’re facing and that she’s only interested in creating a spectacle,” Hobbs said.

But it’s not the first debate Hobbs has turned down this year. During the summer, Hobbs also refused to debate her primary opponent Marco Lopez. In the meantime, Lake had imposed a noon deadline on Friday for Hobbs to reconsider and agree to a debate. Since Hobbs won’t, Lake said that for the remainder of the election, she will not participate with the PBS Phoenix affiliate that was supposed to broadcast the debate, saying in part, “I will not be a part of any attempt to destroy a two-decade tradition of gubernatorial debates in Arizona and set a new standard allowing weak candidates like Katie Hobbs to avoid debating.” Lake has been critical of PBS for planning to give Hobbs a 30-minute interview next week even though Hobbs never agreed to debate.