ICYMI: Kari Lake’s Out-of-State Travel Adds Up [National Review]

Thursday, April 4th, 2024

ARIZONA -–  Kari Lake is “raising eyebrows” for “how much attention she’s paying to her national profile” as she approaches “more than 50 out-of-state trips” since the beginning of 2023. Lake has been chasing the “limelight” as doubts increase among Republicans that Kari Lake’s “anywhere but Arizona” campaign is “making the kind of outreach to independent voters necessary to win a general election in Arizona.” 

Republicans have gone on the record, over, and over, and over expressing frustration about “not [being] sure what [Lake’s] path is forward” as she’s “even alienated some previous supporters, too,” and “she can’t be trusted in anything she says or does.

National Review: Kari Lake’s Out-of-State Travel Adds Up

By: Audrey Fahlberg

April 3rd, 2024

Key Points:

  • In mid March, former GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake found herself in unusual territory. Lake was not in her home state of Arizona, where she is running for the U.S. Senate this year. Instead, Ohio Republicans were glad to host the former television newscaster in Milford, where she was campaigning on behalf of Bernie Moreno…
  • But such trips are becoming par for the course for Lake, who basks in the limelight that comes with being a MAGA-aligned, grassroots Republican celebrity…
  • But as Lake’s Senate bid takes shape, some of her critics are keeping a close watch on how much attention she’s paying to her national profile. The end of April 2024 will mark more than 50 out-of-state trips taken by Lake since January 2023, as a look at her book tour and political-event travel shows. That itinerary includes more than a dozen out-of-state appearances since launching her Senate campaign in October, with at least three out-of-state trips scheduled for April alone, raising eyebrows among Arizona Democrats and Republicans alike.
  • Lake’s campaign declined to comment for this article…
  • Later today, Lake is scheduled to headline what’s expected to be a jam-packed fundraiser for her Senate campaign at Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Fla., alongside co-hosts Roger Stone and Roseanne Barr. Next up in her out-of-state fundraising schedule is an April 20 keynote slot at a county GOP gala in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and an April 23 reception in Huntsville, Ala., where she is scheduled to fundraise alongside Senators Katie Britt and Tommy Tuberville…
  • Still, the frequency of her out-of-state trips is unusual and underscores how different a candidate she is from other 2024 battleground Senate GOP recruits this cycle
  • Since her October campaign launch, she has made appearances at events or co-hosted fundraisers in a number of other states: the CPAC investor summit in Las Vegas and a gala in Lubbock, Texas, in October; the Colorado GOP’s centennial dinner; a book-signing in West Palm Beach, Fla., and a reception in Las Vegas in November; a New Hampshire trip and a Naples, Fla., book-signing reception in December; a campaign kickoff with the Nebraska GOP in Omaha in January; and fundraisers in Palm Desert, Calif., and Round Rock, Texas, in February, to name a few.
  • It’s also worth noting that many of her recent out-of-state trips have been on Trump’s behalf, such as her decision to attend an early-November rally in Hialeah, Fla., aimed at helping the former president counterprogram one of the GOP presidential-primary debates. Then there are her 2024 campaign appearances alongside the former president in Iowa — where she grew up — ahead of the January 15 caucuses, and her appearances alongside him in New Hampshire ahead of the Granite State’s January 23 presidential primary. And then of course the multiple campaign events she co-hosted in March for Moreno in Ohio…
  • Although Lake narrowly lost the gubernatorial race to Democrat Katie Hobbs in 2022, she continues to insist that she won… 
  • Even ahead of her Senate campaign launch, Lake spent last year crisscrossing the country on her tour to promote Unafraid: Just Getting Started, the story of her “journey from being the most beloved newscaster and broadcast journalist in Arizona to the leader of the largest grassroots movement in the state’s history,” according to the book’s Amazon summary.
  • That description captures the private worries of some mainstream Republicans — that she is more preoccupied with winning plaudits from Trump-aligned grassroots activists than winning over independent voters. And while her overtures to many establishment types in Washington are redounding to her benefit in the endorsement and fundraising departments, not everyone is buying her pitch.
  • Writer, podcaster, and TV personality Meghan McCain, the daughter of the late six-term Arizona senator John McCain, has publicly ridiculed Lake’s attempt at extending an olive branch to her family. At a 2022 gubernatorial-campaign event, Lake famously told John McCain supporters to “get the hell out.”
  • Matt Salmon, who competed against her in the GOP gubernatorial primary, estimates that Lake has texted him seven or eight different times since the fall, asking to get together and discuss her 2024 Senate campaign. Salmon told National Review that he has no interest in engaging with her campaign, especially after the leaked conversation between Lake and Jeff DeWit, the former Arizona GOP chairman who resigned from his post after he asked her to name a price to keep her out of a 2024 Senate run.
  • “I’d have to have manure for brains to want to meet with somebody that plays those kinds of shenanigans on people,” Salmon said, adding: “I’m not going to meet with somebody who has a proclivity for tape-recording or videoing conversations without the other person knowing it.”
  • Salmon is doubtful that Lake is making the kind of outreach to independent voters necessary to win a general election in Arizona. And he chided her for acting as if she has already snagged the GOP nomination.
  • “There’s a whole cadre of people, especially in a general election, that I don’t see her really having made much movement with, and that should be the emphasis,” Salmon said. “When she’s here, it’s not really connecting a lot with people one-on-one. It’s the soapbox thing and the rallies and having the same people come to every rally across the state. I don’t see the group expanding.”…

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