Hobbs Forgets COVID, Tells CNN Debates Don’t Matter In Gubernatorial Race

November 3, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

On Wednesday, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs said debates don’t matter when explaining why she won’t debate Republican opponent Kari Lake.

Hobbs made the remarks during a CNN interview. Voters upset over Hobbs’ refusal to debate were told to accept it as part of her campaign strategy. Hobbs added that a debate at this point was too late anyway.

“Look, we’re six days out from the election and our campaign strategy is our campaign strategy,” said Hobbs. “We’re moving forward and I’m continuing to make my case to the voters of Arizona. Whether or not we debate in this race is not going to decide this election.”

Hobbs also claimed that Lake wasn’t interested in a debate, just in creating a spectacle. The CNN “This Morning” hosts — Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow, and Kaitlan Collins — insisted that Hobbs could challenge Lake’s narratives in real time. 

Hobbs also neglected to debate her primary opponent, Marco Lopez. When asked the reason for avoiding that debate, Hobbs said she didn’t need to because of favorable polling. Effectively, Lopez wasn’t worth the time or effort required for a debate. Hobbs didn’t mention her initial excuse for skipping the debate with Lopez: a purported COVID-19 infection and a conflicting campaign event.

“I was miles ahead of him and won handily,” said Hobbs. 

LISTEN: CNN INTERVIEWS HOBBS (timestamp: 1:26:40) 

Hobbs initially told the public that she skipped the debate against Lopez because of a COVID-19 illness. Yet just several days later, Hobbs participated in an Independence Day parade in Flagstaff.

In September, Hobbs fled from in-person questions posed by media and supporters concerning her refusal to debate Lake. 

Last month, Hobbs advised voters that they should forget about her refusal to debate and, instead, focus on her platform. 

When Hobbs questioned Lake’s water crisis policies on social media last week, Lake pointed out that these sorts of questions were best answered in a debate. Lake has invited Hobbs repeatedly to debate her.

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

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