Kari Lake is a former news anchor running for governor of Arizona as a Republican. She made national news last year when she resigned from her position at Fox 10 News in Phoenix after 22 years. In a two and a half minute video, Lake articulated her frustration with the journalism profession. She noted the lack of viewpoint diversity and talked about getting handed content that she viewed as slanted or incomplete. Her comments on the industry should have warned her former colleagues. Lake knows how the sausage is made and will not get tripped up easily.
When Lake threw her hat into the governor’s race in Arizona, she earned President Trump’s endorsement. After making a splash leaving her top-rated anchor position, being a Republican and a MAGA candidate made her a bigger target. That doesn’t stop her from engaging with the media and forcefully stating her positions. Recently she provided a master class for other Republican candidates on eloquently defending their voters.
In a socially distanced interview with ABC, a reporter decided to ask Lake about the 2020 election. The reporter asked Lake if Joe Biden was the current president and if Lake thought that Democrats stole the 2020 election. Rather than entertain this ridiculous binary, Lake turned the questions back on the reporter and asked what she thought about them. Then she added a few. “Do you think Joe Biden garnered 81 million votes? Do you think the election was fair?” Lake shot back.
Lake would not give a simple answer to an obvious gotcha question. Instead, she described the conflicting views about the 2020 election in clear terms. Rather than adopting the left’s view of people who still harbor questions about the irregularities they saw, she calmly defended their suspicions. Using her on-camera skills, Lake came across as unflappable and articulate.
“The problem is that the American people don’t have all the answers because the media is part of the problem,” Lake began. “The media is not reporting it. The media has never reported our [Arizona’s] forensic audit fairly. They’re not reporting what is happening in Georgia. They are not reporting on these ballot traffickers that are being paid to drop off ballots. The media is doing a huge disservice to this country. The people aren’t getting the full story.”
WATCH: The Media just won’t learn their lesson. They continue to try and stump me, but I know their game better than they do.
— Kari Lake for AZ Governor (@KariLake) February 3, 2022
That portion of her response is significant because it defends Republican voters who watched the events on election night and can remember the irregularities. Rather than investigating why swing state precincts stopped counting nearly in unison, then removed election observers and engaged in other unprecedented behavior, the media nationwide told Americans not to believe their own eyes. Many Americans now have a greater understanding of the private funding of local election offices by Mark Zuckerberg’s foundation. A recent poll shows that 70% of Americans disagree with that type of outside influence on the process. The same survey indicates 59% of likely voters believe it is likely that cheating affected the outcome in 2020, and 40% think it is very likely.
Rasmussen took that poll before Dinesh D’Souza released the trailer for 2,000 Mules. Thanks to whistleblower testimony, the documentary tracks cellular phone location data and uses dropbox security cameras to confirm allegations of vote harvesting in states where it is illegal. D’Souza claims one individual made 53 trips to 20 separate drop boxes to insert ballots. There are also court decisions in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania ruling that dropboxes and no-excuse mail-in voting violate the respective states’ constitutions.
Many who follow the news feel justified in their suspicions about the 2020 election. Yet supposedly unbiased reporters paint the people with questions about what they saw as conspiracy theorists. After Jan. 6, some commentators likened Americans with concerns about the election to insurrectionists. Others fully parroted Democrat talking points and called them racists when they supported laws to roll back the pandemic-related election exceptions like drop boxes, drive-through voting, and widespread mail-in voting.
Lake’s campaign website notes election skepticism is a bipartisan issue. “In 2016, over 60% of Democrats believed the election was stolen. In 2020, over 60% of Republicans believe the election was stolen. We cannot continue to have disputed elections and expect this country to survive. Ensuring election integrity in the future is incredibly simple if we simply have the political will to do it.” Lake’s proposals to restore confidence are common sense items with broad support. She suggests robust voter ID, pre-printed paper ballots, removing software from the process, and post-election audits for transparency.
Lake continued her response to the ABC reporter. “But eventually, I think they will [get the whole story]. And the media, whose numbers are dropping, dropping like a rock, are going to continue to drop. And pretty soon, nobody will be watching. Because the media have turned their back on the people of America and not been honest.”
Then she called out the media outlets by name. “ABC News, CNN, MSNBC, spent more than three years lying to the American people saying that Russia colluded with Donald J. Trump to steal an election in 2016. And they knew that was false. They knew they were peddling lies. And they did nothing to stop it.” Lake continued, “It was a complete hoax and a lie. And now they are doing the opposite. We have evidence of corruption in our elections, and they refuse to cover it.”
The ABC interview is not the only one where Lake has demonstrated this amount of conviction and poise. Her Rumble page is full of interviews with mainstream outlets attempting the same strategy as the ABC reporter that her team records. While Lake’s poise is enviable, her defense of the views of many Republican voters about the 2020 election is something all GOP candidates need to do.
No one is required to excuse the behavior of rioters on Jan. 6 to empathize with the doubts that motivated many to attend President Trump’s speech. Republicans do not need to advocate pardoning anyone to articulate the irregularities and influence operations during the election. However, if Republican voters can’t trust you to represent their valid concerns about the 2020 election, why should they trust you to represent them in elected office?