Arizona Secretary of State and Democrat gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs has no interest in being governor. She might want the title, the prestige, and the benefits, but she has no enthusiasm for doing the job, and she said so explicitly.
On Tuesday, the investigative group Project Veritas published its latest exposé, which revealed why Hobbs has refused a debate with her Republican opponent, former local news anchor Kari Lake.
“I don’t want to talk politics with anyone who I don’t know,” Hobbs said on footage captured on hidden camera.
Refusal to engage with your political opponents as an elected official with power is bad enough, but what’s worse is that Hobbs made the comment while describing a conversation she had with an Uber driver who inquired about her work.
“I was like, ‘uh, I work for a campaign,'” Hobbs said. “I don’t know why I said that — I just didn’t want to have this conversation. And he’s like, ‘Oh, Kari Lake?’ And I was like, ‘F-ck no!’ I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t want to talk politics to anyone who I don’t know.”
It makes sense why someone might not want to engage with strangers about politics, but not when you’re already a statewide elected official now seeking the top job in all of Arizona. It especially doesn’t apply to engaging your opponent about your political differences on a debate stage.
In her refusal to debate Lake, Hobbs is denying Arizona voters the democratic opportunity to see their two gubernatorial candidates side-by-side in an open forum because she “doesn’t want to talk politics to anyone who I don’t know.” Apparently, no one told Hobbs that it’s part of being governor. But the comment reveals something more disturbing about the Democrat’s own candidacy: Hobbs has no curiosity why her constituents might like her Republican challenger.
A genuine public servant might have probed a bit deeper into the Uber driver’s own values and priorities rather than shut down the conversation. Hobbs, however, took the elitist route with an “I don’t want to talk to you” attitude while being chauffeured from point A to B. Never mind that it’s the governor’s job to listen to constituents, at least among politicians who are serious about public service.
On Hobbs’ decision not to participate in a formal debate, footage from Project Veritas revealed campaign staffers arguing that such an event was not worth the political risk. Field organizer Jasper Adams professed, “We have a lot of concerns about Katie’s campaign,” with her refusal to debate chief among them.
“Only Democratic voters care. So, they’re not going to lose any votes because Democrats are going to vote for her anyway, which is — which maybe is true,” Adams is caught saying on camera. “But as a politician, you never want to say, ‘Oh, I’m taking these votes for granted.’ … I do wonder how much — like whether people actually care about this.”
Campaign staff apparently don’t want the public to know about Hobbs’ animosity toward guns either. When one Project Veritas reporter asked head political consultant Joe Wolf whether the potential governor would “support something like an assault weapons ban,” Wolf said it’s an issue better left untouched until her inauguration.
“This state unfortunately is crazy in love with their guns,” Wolf said. “So we’re not going to take the beating for it before she can do anything about it.”