The Arizona Clean Elections Commission held a virtual public meeting Thursday “to discuss and possibly take action on the general election gubernatorial debate.”
Here, the commission rejected Democrat Katie Hobbs’ proposal to change the debate into a forum with separate interviews for Katie Hobbs and Trump-Endorsed Kari Lake.
Hobbs’ deadline to agree on a debate format for the October 12th debate has now been extended until September 15th.
ICYMIBREAKING: @AZCCEC rejects @katiehobbs proposal for town hall. They will try for next 7 days to have @KariLake and @katiehobbs agree to a debate. Unclear what will happen if no agreement is reached…#AZGOV Review play-by-play of the @AZCCEC meeting below https://t.co/R3RS0bbTx1
— Corinne Murdock (@CorinneMurdock) September 8, 2022
The Gateway Pundit recently reported that the debate is scheduled to happen despite Katie Hobbs’ attempts to hide in the basement and convert the debate into a forum with separate interviews.
Katie Hobbs has already participated in one forum, separate from Kari Lake, and will participate in another on October 3rd. However, these forums do not allow voters the opportunity to see candidates defend their ideas against each other. They are basically just infomercials for the candidates.
The Gateway Pundit reported on the forum last week where Katie Hobbs spoke and then RAN out of the building to avoid any challenge or questions from the press. On the other hand, Kari Lake got swarmed by the media after sticking around.
WATCH: Trump-Endorsed Kari Lake Takes Question From Gateway Pundit Reporter After Coward Katie Hobbs DARTS Out Of Building, SLAMS Hobbs And Fake News “Rag” Reporters
This will be the only statewide debate scheduled to be broadcasted live over dozens of local TV and radio stations. It is also expected to reach millions of viewers on PBS’s website. That explains why Hobbs is so scared. Kari already agreed to this debate weeks ago.
She is the only statewide candidate in Arizona who has not agreed to a debate.
During the public meeting on Thursday, Hobbs campaign manager Nicole DeMont, speaking on behalf of Katie Hobbs, refused to provide a scenario in which Katie Hobbs will share the stage with Kari Lake in a debate. Instead, she said, “I’m not going to answer a hypothetical question right here.”
Laughing at DeMont, commissioner Damien Meyer responded, “I don’t think it is a hypothetical question,” then asked his question again. She still refused to answer.
“Is there any scenario in which Secretary Hobbs will share the stage with Mrs. Lake?”
Hobbs Campaign Manager: “I’m not going to answer a hypothetical question”
“I don’t think it’s a hypothetical question. Is there any scenario where she will share the stage?”
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) September 8, 2022
This is despite Kari Lake’s offer to Katie Hobbs, which allows her to choose the time, date, moderators, and even the debate questions before going on stage with Kari.
Katie Hobbs and her team are still terrified of the possible debate.
If Hobbs cannot decide on what would be a good policy debate, then it’s her fault alone.
During the meeting, DeMont was also allowed to lie and attack Kari Lake, smearing her as a “conspiracy theorist,” accusing her of making “thinly veiled threats,” and calling the debate a “PR stunt.”
DeMont is the same campaign manager who caused 75% of Katie Hobbs’ staff to quit citing an “abusive and exploitative” work environment.
— Kari Lake War Room (@KariLakeWarRoom) September 9, 2022
Further, DeMont claimed that the Hobbs campaign intends to avoid the style of the GOP primary debate, which she claims “turned Arizona into the subject of national ridicule.”
However, Katie Hobbs did not even appear at her own Democratic primary debate.
The commissioners allowed DeMont to attack Lake for minutes before cutting her off and asking her to stick to the topic of a debate forum.
In contrast, Kari Lake’s attorney, Tim LaSota, was cut off by the commission less than twenty seconds after he began speaking for simply saying, “since Ms. DeMont got into some details, I’d certainly like to say that we look forward to contrasting Kari Lake’s agenda with Katie Hobbs’ radical left-wing record.”
This was right after the commission allowed Hobbs’ staffer to say, “we are very eager to contrast our positions with the dangerous positions that Kari Lake has been spewing on this campaign trail.”
LaSota was not even allowed to mention Katie Hobbs’ record of racism and sexism against a former staffer, despite this being one of the clear reasons that Hobbs is too afraid to share the debate stage.
“This is not only an insult to the voters of Arizona, that they can’t look at these candidates and make a judgment for themselves. It’s an insult to this commission, and it’s an insult to Mr. Simons, and it’s a cop-out. And the fact that Katie Hobbs tries to blame someone else because she’s simply unwilling to show up on the same stage and debate her record, debate the issues, that is nobody’s fault but Katie Hobbs’, and it’s reminiscent of when she was found to have racially and sexually discriminated against Talonya Adams,” said LaSota before he was stopped and told, “this is not a political stage for you.”
Nobody said this to DeMont when she claimed that Kari Lake “wants to create a spectacle” or when she labeled her a “conspiracy theorist” multiple times or accused her of making threats. Why wasn’t LaSota given the same opportunity to address Katie Hobbs’ record?
The commission even attempted to prevent LaSota from sharing a screenshot from the commission’s own website to show that Katie Hobbs is the only candidate who has not accepted the challenge. This was after Nicole DeMont posted a statement by the Hobbs campaign in the chat without explicit permission to do so.
Although they decided that the debate must go on, the supposed “non-partisan” discussion was unfairly geared toward Katie Hobbs’ campaign. It was another safe space for Katie Hobbs and Nicole DeMont.
It is still unclear whether or not Katie Hobbs’ team will agree to appear at the October 12th debate.