Secretary of State, Gubernatorial Candidate Calls Focus On Border ‘Ridiculous’

May 22, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

Secretary of State and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs declared it was “ridiculous” that the border crisis was a core issue for the governor’s race. Hobbs made the remarks during an interview with the Arizona Republic. 

Hobbs asserted that it wouldn’t matter how she talked about the border because Republicans would only twist her words. It is unclear whether her observation came from recent controversy over her apparent reversal on the Biden administration’s plan to rescind Title 42

“It’s ridiculous that we are talking about this as a core issue in the governor’s race,” said Hobbs. “I could stand here and say ‘Build the wall,’ and they’re gonna call me open borders. It doesn’t really matter what I say for the Republicans, they’re going to just misconstrue everything.” 

Hobbs’ latest statement appears to be a pivot from her remarks issued last October, when she insisted that alleviating border crisis pressures would be one of her primary focuses as governor. 

“The situation at our border puts pressure on all our communities. We have to reduce illegal border crossings in a way that promotes security and safety for everyone and most efficiently uses taxpayers’ dollars,” said Hobbs. “Arizonans need a leader who is learning from the officials who are on the front lines and understand this important issue best. I’m committed to listening, learning, and working on the ground to ensure our borders are secure.”

Hobbs also changed her perspective on the revocation of Title 42 recently. Within one month, Hobbs shifted her public message from supporting Title 42’s immediate end because it “isn’t working” to declaring that doing so would be a “rash decision” that would result in a “disaster.” 

Hobbs hasn’t been the only Democratic candidate for a state-level office to dismiss border concerns this week. Democratic congressional candidate and former state senator Kirsten Engel went one step further, arguing that the current state of the border doesn’t constitute a crisis. 

Engel issued that assessment during a Wednesday night debate hosted on “Arizona Horizon” by PBS. Engel’s Democratic opponent, State Representative Daniel Hernández Jr. (D-Tucson), contended with her denial of the border crisis. 

Hobbs and Engel represent a greater division within their party on the significance and reality of the border crisis. Hobbs’ opponents, Aaron Lieberman and Marco Lopez, have each offered their own takes. Lieberman has said he will defer to federal actors to work out the border crisis.

Lopez has insisted that rhetoric painting the border situation as dangerous was misleading. 

“There is no invasion,” said Lopez. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

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