Kari Lake backtracks on attacks on Arizona Republicans: ‘We make mistakes occasionally’ – Washington Examiner

Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake is attempting to turn the page on previous statements she made about centrist Republicans she unapologetically attacked when running for governor last cycle.

“We are all human, we make mistakes occasionally — I do as well, and I’m not perfect, and I never want to hurt anyone’s feelings,” Lake said speaking with NBC News’s Vaughn Hillyard in Arizona on Tuesday. “You know politics is a rough-and-tumble game, and sometimes things are said, but right now, we’ve got a lot of issues facing our country.”

NBC: Regret any of your past statements about GOPers in the state?

Kari Lake: We’re all human. We make mistakes occasionally—I do as well & I’m not perfect & I never want to hurt anyone’s feelings. But you know, politics is a rough & tumble game & sometimes things are said… pic.twitter.com/zjEcj3TQ7w

— Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) March 19, 2024

Throughout her failed 2022 gubernatorial campaign, she bragged that she “drove a stake through the heart of the McCain machine” and even called for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act at a campaign event in Scottsdale last year, slamming former Sen. John McCain, who voted “no” on his party’s effort to repeal it in 2017. During her bid, Lake had repeatedly attacked the legacy of the senator, who is still well respected among centrists in the state.

Lake has attempted to court former foes to seek their support, including former Govs. Doug Ducey and Jan Brewer, former opponent Karrin Taylor Robson, and former Rep. Matt Salmon, according to those with knowledge of the interactions. She extended an olive branch to Meghan McCain, the daughter of the late Arizona senator. McCain publicly rejected Lake’s offer to meet one-on-one.

“We’ve reached a lot of people, I’m the most popular Republican in the state with independents if you look at polling, and people love our policies,” Lake said in response to a question on how she is attempting to court Republicans who didn’t vote for her in 2022.


“I haven’t changed,” Lake added. “I’m still the same person that people invited into their homes for nearly 30 years here in Arizona. What I think will hopefully change is there won’t be five-hour, six-hour lines on Election Day. I hope that changes because if we had an honest, fair election, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.”

Nearly 30 Republican senators have publicly endorsed Lake’s campaign. The race in Arizona could be one of Republicans’ best opportunities to seize control of the upper chamber next year. Recent polling showed Lake leading Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) 46% to 45% in a head-to-head race, according to a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling. The race has become even more competitive after Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) announced she will not be running for reelection.