The following is a transcript of an interview with Kari Lake, Republican candidate for governor in Arizona, that aired on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022 on “Face the Nation.”
MAJOR GARRETT: Now to the race for governor of Arizona. Our latest poll shows Democrat Katie Hobbs and Republican Kari Lake tied at 49%. The two candidates have not scheduled a debate but they are here to answer our questions. Each candidate will have about eight and a half minutes, we intend to cover the same issues with each candidate. issues identified by our own polling as of leading concern to Arizona voters. Our ability to cover this ground, of course, will be influenced in no small measure by the length of the candidates answers. First Republican Carrie Lake, who joins us from Phoenix. Good morning, and welcome to FACE THE NATION.
REPUBLICAN NOMINEE FOR AZ GOV KARI LAKE: Good morning, Major. Thank you so much for having me on. Just to clarify, I have agreed to any and all debates, and I will be taking part in one without my opponent next week on the 12th. I would love it if she would show up because I think there’s a lot of important issues that the people of Arizona need to hear about.
MAJOR GARRETT: We’ll get to that, I promise. Your website is detailed and specific on the question of immigration and border security. You call, if elected as governor, for Arizona to join other states to form what you call a compact to carry out border security separate from the federal government, including arrest and detention. For the benefit of Arizona voters, can you explain the legal and practical application of this approach?
LAKE: Well, of course, if you know the Constitution, you know that Article 4, Section 4 calls for the federal government to protect us from invasion, and under Joe Biden’s lack of leadership, we just aren’t seeing that. And we have an invasion at our border, the cartels, these Narco terrorist groups have operational control. And they’re using Arizona to smuggle people, to traffic children and to traffic the most dangerous drug we’ve ever seen, fentanyl. And so we’re going to invoke our Article One, Section 10, basically, authority to take care of our own border and protect our own border. It’s right there in black and white in the Constitution. And we meet all three criteria, we have an invasion, our people are in imminent danger, and time is of the essence. There’s no time for delay. So we’re going to have other states offer help. I’ve already got a couple other governors who are willing to help out. And I know that if you ask people in other states that are not border states, they deem this crisis on the border as one of the top issues facing our country–
MAJOR GARRETT: Would Arizona–
LAKE: with young people dying of fentanyl poisoning right now.
MAJOR GARRETT: Would Arizona go it alone if it didn’t get this compact agreement with other states?
LAKE: Yes, we will. But I believe we will get help. I’ve already talked to some other governors and they’re- they’re vowing to help us out wherever they can, because they realize that what comes into Arizona, fentanyl, people coming here illegally, children being trafficked, doesn’t stay in Arizona, it goes to all 50 states. And I just spoke last week to a mother and father who lost their son. And it’s just tragic. We’re losing more people to fentanyl in Arizona, since Joe Biden took office than we lost in 9/11 or during COVID.
MAJOR GARRETT: If, as there would likely be, federal challenges were presented, would you as governor await for those federal challenges to this state compact be resolved? And would you respect them if they were to any way impinge upon or restrict or nullify the state compact approach?
LAKE: We will, we will challenge the federal government. If they’re going to challenge us, I think we have the right to do this. And we will have attorneys file lawsuits as well. But we’re not going to back down and let our people be overrun with drugs, watch our children die. We had a 16 year old die here in the metro area last week from a fentanyl overdose. We can’t keep having this happen. We’re losing our young generation. So I hope that Joe Biden doesn’t fight us because then it would really look like he is on the side of the cartels. And I don’t think he wants the people to think that
MAJOR GARRETT: Your website also says that Washington D.C. incentivizes illegal immigration to satisfy, quote, big business lust for cheap labor. Does that big business lust reside in Arizona at all?
LAKE: I think it resides everywhere. And we saw it with Nancy Pelosi last week. I mean, it was the most racist thing. I think I’ve heard her say although she said quite a few things that are offensive. She said these people coming in illegally should go pick fruit in the South. I mean, I couldn’t believe my ears, MAJOR, when I heard that. We want to make sure that our middle class and our working class are healthy. The Democrats used to care about our working class. And now they appear that they don’t. They want to see 5 million people come in. These 5 million people were this thing. They’re not staying on the streets. It’s American citizens who are homeless. And they’re taking jobs from hard working Arizonans, and we’re going to start putting Arizona first and protecting our citizens in this state.
MAJOR GARRETT: Nominee Lake our polling shows that abortion is a very important issue to Arizona vote voters you have been quoted as saying Arizona will be a state where we will not be taking the lives of our unborn anymore. You’ve also more recently been quoted as saying that in Arizona abortion should be rare and legal. Are those statements consistent?
LAKE: I-I was in an interview when I said that, and I was I was telling the interviewer that when abortion was first presented, they said it should be. It should be rare, safe and legal. And now it’s become anything but rare. In Katie Hobbs’ world, you can ask her about this, I understand she’s coming up next, they’re for abortion right up until birth, if you are in the hospital in labor, the abortionists are for giving you an abortion, If you desire one.
MAJOR GARRETT: What are you for?
LAKE: We need to draw the line- We need to draw the line somewhere. I am going to be the executive of the state, the chief executive officer, and I will follow the law. The law right now as it stands is Governor Ducey’s law at 15 weeks, so we’ll follow the law.
MAJOR GARRETT: Would you seek to restrict abortions be-be-beyond- closer than 15 weeks?
LAKE: May I finish?
MAJOR GARRETT: Sure.
LAKE I am- I’m a woman. I’m a mother. I’m all for women’s health care. I come from a large family, seven sisters I have, of course I want women’s health care. This has moved beyond health care. We’re not giving women choices. I’m for giving women true choices. And when they walk into an abortion center, they’re only given one choice. And they’re not told that you have the choice to keep your baby, and we can help and here’s how. Or we can help you find a loving family who will adopt your baby. I want to give women true choices. I will uphold the law, whatever that law is. And I want to see to it that we’ve save more lives. Right now the Democrats have started pushing so far from that rare but safe, to anything goes up to nine months of pregnancy, after birth. Katie Hobbs my opponent actually has voted for, and you look at her voting record, allowing a baby who survives an abortion that the hospital would refuse medical care and allow the baby to die on a cold metal tray. She voted for that.
MAJOR GARRETT: We will take that up with Katie Hobbs, I guarantee you. This week, Nominee Lake, a 64 year old Iowa man was arrested and charged for threatening to lynch Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman. In reaction, Hickman said, “people in positions of influence and leadership in Arizona are silent. How can you be silent?” Do you have a reply from Mr. Hickman? And would you support, and do you support federal and state prosecution of anyone who threatens the lives of an election worker?
LAKE: I think that anyone who threatens anyone’s life should be detained and questioned. I’m not for violence in any way. And I should remind you that, you know, during COVID, when a lot of Americans were faced with not being able to use their free speech to speak out against what was happening, they were losing their jobs, they were losing their businesses, they were being forced to get shots that they didn’t want. People were being bullied and-and attacked and also threatened during that time. I think we need to get back to where we have free speech and we shouldn’t be threatening people, and I hope that they arrest that man and detain him.
MAJOR GARRETT: Earlier this week, Blake Masters, as you know, Republican nominee for the Senate said he has not seen evidence of vote counting problems or election results that would have changed the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. He also said President Biden is the legitimate president. Do you agree?
LAKE: I think we have major problems in our election system. And when it goes back to 2000. We had Democrats saying the 2000 election wasn’t fair. They were complaining the 2004 election wasn’t fair. 2016, Kamala Harris spoke out and said that the electronic voting machines were hacked in front of her eyes and nobody called them election deniers. And now all of a sudden in 2020, Garrett, we don’t have free speech anymore. We can’t speak out against our own elections. All I’m asking for is the ability to speak out when our government does something wrong. We should be able to speak out against it–
MAJOR GARRETT: Do you agree with the statement that Blake Masters made?
LAKE: I- I’m not going to take on what Blake said. I’m going to take on what I said. And what I say is we have problems in our election. They haven’t been solved in 2016. They weren’t solved in ’18. Just a month or two ago during our primary election. And I’m sure your voters- your viewers don’t even know this. Katie Hobbs’ office advised the counties on how many ballots to print. This was two months ago–
MAJOR GARRETT: Nominee Lake–
LAKE: and they under printed ballots in our biggest county, and they ran out of Republican only ballots one hour into voting. We have to restore honesty to our elections; we must restore honesty.
MAJOR GARRETT: In fairness, restore, in fairness and in timing for both you and Katie Hobbs. We have to end it there. Thank you very much for being with us on FACE THE NATION. We’ll be back in just one minute. Stay with us.