Neil W. McCabe, the national political editor of The Star News Network, interviewed Arizona Republican gubernatorial hopeful Kari Lake on the grounds of the statehouse in Phoenix.
Lake, who was Phoenix’s top news anchor for two decades, told The Star News Network she knew the campaign would take off after her second day as a candidate when she saw someone had made their own sign for a roadside rally.
The former TV journalist said despite being a member of the professional press before her run for governor, the local reporters continue to depict her as an angry woman full of rage, and twist their coverage always to the negative.
McCabe: Trump-endorsed Kari Lake is the leading candidate for the Arizona gubernatorial nomination. Lake told The Star News Network why she thinks she wins.
Lake: The second day after I ran, somebody sent me a picture from a roadside protest or rally and it was somebody with a “Kari Lake for Governor” sign that they had painted out, or used a marker.
And I thought, wow, that is pretty interesting. We announced yesterday. The next day, somebody had taken the time to make a handmade “Kari Lake for Governor” sign at a roadside rally. There is something going on here.
McCabe: That momentum carried over into her ballot petitions.
Lake: It only took three weeks to get all of the signatures we needed, which typically takes nine months for candidates. So I knew right then there was a movement going on. I just found out we have 35,000 donors who donated less than $500. Thirty-five thousand, I don’t think that’s ever happened in the state of Arizona.
McCabe: Lake said, despite her popular support based on 20 years as Phoenix’s top news anchor, the local reporters have not been fair to their former comrade.
Lake: I do an interview like this with our local paper and the headline is “Rage politics: … anger-fueled politician …” The people of Arizona know me. I’ve been in their homes for 27 years. I wasn’t filled with rage. And so they are looking at that headline, and they go, wow, we know her. She’s not angry.
McCabe: It is even true for the statewide paper – once one of the great conservative newspapers in the country, she said.
Lake: We had that with our Arizona Republic. I call it the Arizona Repugnant. I’d do an interview with them and they’d talk to somebody about my style.
The people who they interview will tell me what they said, and none of that ends up in the article, because it didn’t fit the agenda, which was to paint me as an anger-fueled, rage-fueled politician.
McCabe: Case in point: At a recent event, two reporters asked rhetorically if Lake’s opposition to COVID-19 vaccine mandates meant that she was also opposed to the measles vaccine.
Lake: Listen, I’m not an anti-vaxxer. But I like to have a little more information, please, before I inject my children and myself with a vaccine that is proven to have issues.
McCabe: Reporting for The Star News Network, Neil W. McCabe, Phoenix.