CNN’s New Morning Show Confronts Katie Hobbs Over Not Debating Kari Lake


The hosts of CNN’s new morning show on Wednesday repeatedly pressed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs on why she has not debated her Republican rival, conspiracy theory-toting Kari Lake.

Ultimately, the Democratic secretary of state claimed in response, voters would not care enough about a debate when they head to the polls in less than a week.

CNN This Morning hosts Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow, and Kaitlan Collins all took turns asking Hobbs about her refusal to debate Lake, who is currently polling ahead of the Democratic nominee. Her initial response mirrored her past answers, including the argument that she does not want to give Lake a platform to cause an onstage spectacle.

The answers, however, did not appear to sit well with the morning show anchors.

“Wouldn’t it be easier to knock it down in front of everyone?” Lemon asked her. “You’re not stopping her from spreading whatever you believe that she is spreading by not debating her. She can go on television but you’re not confronting her on it. It seems like it would be an easy fix if you stood up on a debate stage and confronted her.”

Hobbs tried to make the issue more about time than what a substantive debate could produce. “We’re six days out from the election. Our campaign strategy is our campaign strategy,” she said. “Whether or not we debated in this race is not going to decide this election. We made a decision, didn’t want to be a part of of her spectacle, and she won’t answer these tough questions to real reporters.”

Her refusal to debate Lake is not without precedent. Hobbs also opted not to debate her Democratic primary opponents earlier in the year, with her campaign spokesperson citing events in Tucson as the reason she could not show up to a scheduled primary debate.

That was not the reason she cited to Harlow when pressed about the matter, however. “I was miles ahead of him in the race and won handily,” she attested. “It’s a totally different situation here.”

“Well, it’s not debating your opponent again. Have you ever debated your opponent running for political office?” Harlow asked. “Why do you think it wasn’t important for people to see a debate in this election for governor at all?”

Hobbs assured the anchor that she had debated previous rivals (In 2018, she debated her secretary of state opponent), and once again deferred to her campaign strategy. “It’s six days till the election, and that’s the decision we made.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Collins asked Hobbs to clarify her position on abortion, citing an interview she did with CNN’s Dana Bash last month.

“I didn’t feel like you really answered her question on abortion,” Collins said. “What limits on abortion do you support?”

Hobbs said she would not get in the middle of a woman’s medical decisions, leading Harlow to ask—and Hobbs to confirm—if she would veto any law regarding abortion limits.

“So that’s a yes,” Harlow said.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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