What to Expect from Tonight’s GOP Debate With Kari Lake and Karrin Taylor Robson

For Immediate Release
June 29th, 2022

Contact: Josselyn Berry | jberry@azdem.org
What to Expect from Tonight’s GOP Gubernatorial Debate With Kari Lake and Karrin Taylor Robson

PHOENIX– There’s only 5 weeks until Arizona’s primary election and tonight at 5pm local time the Republican candidates for governor will share an official debate stage for the first time. Kari Lake and Karrin Taylor Robson have been attacking, ridiculing and mocking each other for weeks and no doubt that vitriol will spill onto the debate stage tonight as the two candidates finally go head to head.

With Matt Salmon announcing he’s officially dropping out of the race, the pressure is on for Lake and Taylor Robson to show who’s the most extreme and out-of-touch candidate,” said Josselyn Berry, spokesperson for the Arizona Democratic Party.  “Expect Lake to continue her pattern of blaming the media, ranting about the 2020 election, drag queens and a number of other things Arizona voters don’t care about. Meanwhile Karrin Taylor Robson will try to hide the fact that she’s just Kari Lake-lite.: all of the same extreme, fringe views, and fewer bomb-throwing media appearances. But no matter what style primary voters choose, the next GOP nominee will have policy proposals that make them out-of-touch with the needs of everyday Arizonans.”

The Candidates on Abortion

  • Karrin Taylor Robson Downplays Rape – During an interview on the day SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade, Taylor Robson shrugged off the need for exceptions for rape and incest. When asked by KTAR if she would support an exception for abortion in the case of a 14-year-old being raped and impregnated by her step-father, Robson said, “the instance of pregnancies occurring in violent situations are extremely rare. In fact, it’s estimated about, you know, [in] less than two percent of those situations do a pregnancy occur.”
  • Karrin Taylor Robson says “Roe v Wade should be overturned” – During a Center for Arizona Policy forum Taylor Robson said, “Absolutely, Roe v Wade should be overturned. Arizona is already the most pro-life state in the nation, and when I’m Governor, I will work to make sure the culture of life continues and strengthens to protect those among us who are most vulnerable.”
  • Karrin Taylor Robson: Abortion bans are “a victory for life” In a statement, Karrin Taylor Robson celebrated Texas’s abortion ban as a  “Victory for Life” and “a huge step forward in protecting women and children from the horrors of abortion.”
  • Kari Lake Would Put Abortion Providers in Jail – Arizona’s 1901 law, which Lake  thinks is “a great law” would require a minimum of two years of prison for abortion providers.
  • Kari Lake Is Ready to Ban Abortion Pills-Lake went on Fox News where she threw a toddler-worthy temper tantrum and said she supports banning abortion pills.  It’s well-established that medication abortion — also called the abortion pill — is a safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy.
  • Kari Lake Said She Would Sign a “Carbon Copy” of the Texas Abortion Ban “In A Heartbeat” – According to the State Press, “Lake also talked about Texas’ recent abortion bill, a law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, and said the Arizona Legislature should pass a ‘carbon copy’ as soon as possible. Lake explained she is ‘unapologetically pro-life.’” The Texas law does NOT include exceptions for rape or incest. 

The Candidates on Gun Control

  • Kari Lake Won’t Enforce Gun Laws- Lake has said if she is elected governor she will veto any bills that seek to infringe on Second Amendment rights — and use the bills for target practice.
  • Kari Lake Dares The Feds To Arrest Her- When the Senate passed bipartisan, common sense gun reform, Kari Lake tweeted that when she’s governor she’ll refuse to enforce gun laws and then taunted the feds to come and arrest her.
  • Karrin Taylor Robson Threatens Cities- After Tucson voted to not enforceArizona’s new “Second Amendment sanctuary” law that bars local governments from enforcing federal gun regulations, Karrin Taylor Robson called on Attorney General Mark Brnovich sue and take away funding from Tucson.
  • Karrin Taylor Robson’s Poorly Timed Ad- Karrin Taylor Robson began running a pro-gun ad only a day after the mass shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead in Uvalde, Texas.

The Candidates on the 2020 Election

  • Kari Lake Claims She’s the Only Candidate for Governor Calling for Decertification- In a September 13th, 2021 tweet, Lake says “I am the ONLY candidate for AZ Governor calling for and demanding decertification, if audit shows Trump won.” Spoiler alert: It showed Biden won. 
  • Kari Lake Says She Would Not Have Certified Joe Biden’s Victory If She Was Governor- In a July 28, 2021 interview with OANN, when asked how she would have handled the certification of the 2020 election, Lake said “I would not have certified it.”
  • Taylor Robson Supported Senate President Karen Fann’s “Audit,” and Said as Governor She Would “Further Tighten Arizona Election Procedures to Eliminate Opportunities for Fraud.”- According to the Arizona Republic, “Karrin Taylor Robson, said in a statement she has ‘supported (Senate President) Karen Fann and her goal to provide answers to Arizona voters, and I look forward to the audit’s results.’ ‘As governor, my focus will be to further tighten Arizona election procedures to eliminate opportunities for fraud,’ her statement reads.
  • Karrin Taylor Robson to the New York Times- According to the New York Times, “Ms. Taylor Robson has not made the 2020 election the major focus of her campaign, but when asked whether she considered Mr. Biden the fairly elected president, she responded in a statement, ‘Joe Biden may be the president, but the election definitely wasn’t fair.’”

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