On Wednesday, the Arizona Clean Elections Commission (CEC) and gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake (R) blasted Arizona PBS for giving Secretary of State Katie Hobbs an interview.
The CEC scheduled a one-on-one interview with Lake to be held with Arizona PBS that was supposed to be held on on Wednesday rather than a debate since Hobbs did not want to be on stage with Lake. After CEC officials discovered the fact that Arizona PBS circumvented their decision to not offer Hobbs an interview using similar format, the CEC put off Lake's show and stated that it would find an alternative partner to PBS to conduct the interview. In a press release, the organization declared:
This decision is disappointing, especially following the multiple attempts on behalf of all the partners involved in producing this year’s General Election debates, to organize a traditional gubernatorial debate between the two candidates.
As a matter of state law and under the direction of its commissioners, Clean Elections proceeded with its obligation to arrange a Q & A interview for candidates who agreed to debate but whose opponent elected not to participate, which is how the Q & A with candidate Kari Lake scheduled for tonight on Arizona PBS came to fruition.
Given today’s events, and the need to obtain additional information regarding the last-minute developments, the Commission will postpone tonight’s Q & A on Arizona PBS and will identify a new venue, partner, and date when the interview will be broadcast.
The CEC also stated that PBS “broke from [their] shared practice.”
Following the announcement, Lake held a last-minute press conference in front of PBS Arizona at Arizona State University's (ASU) Walter Kronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications, in which she attacked Hobbs, the university, and PBS.
“Unfortunately, I’m running against a coward who’s afraid to stand on the debate stage and talk about what she wants to do for Arizona,” said Lake. “And unfortunately, PBS and ASU have done a backroom deal with that coward to give her airtime that she does not deserve.”
“I need to remind people that it is we, the taxpayers, who own PBS and who own ASU. This is not the DNC that owns this, and what’s going on here is absolutely wrong,” she added.
The CEC decided not to grant Hobbs an interview in one-on-one format. Breitbart News asked Lake whether she believed that the Democratic's decision against the CEC showed she was an election denier.
“I never thought of it that way. I never thought of it that way,” said Lake with a smile. “I do know that she’s a coward and she’s afraid that her racist past is going to come out and she doesn’t have a response to it.”