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Yet Another Democrat Refuses to Debate With Their Trump-Endorsed Opponent

Why debate when you can hide?

First, it was Democratic Senate Candidate John Fetterman who, for weeks, refused to entertain the thought of a debate with his Republican challenger, Dr. Mehmet Oz. The grounds upon which Fetterman planted his “no debate” flag were rather weak and amounted to little more than fear of stepping on stage and being vulnerable to his various health issues and his radical left-wing positions.

Fetterman says he will debate “sometime in October” but the details remain unsettled. Fellow Democrats have defended Fetterman saying there’s simply no need for him to debate right now because it’s way too early in the cycle.

Out west, in Arizona, a similar situation is unfolding between Republican Kari Lake and her Democratic challenger, Katie Hobbs. For the time being, there will be no Arizona governor debate if Hobbs has anything to say about it:

Democrat Katie Hobbs’ campaign announced Sunday that she would not debate Republican Kari Lake as the two battle for the Arizona governor’s office, calling off any negotiations with Lake and the state commission overseeing debates.

The decision came after more than a week of efforts by Hobbs, currently secretary of state, to change the debate into separate half-hour interviews with the moderator. The Citizens Clean Elections Commission, which has held debates for two decades featuring candidates for statewide and legislative offices, flatly rejected that proposal on Thursday.

Instead, the commission urged its staff to work with Hobbs to come up with minor changes to the debate and gave her a week to come to an agreement. Hobbs’ campaign manager’s statements to the commissioners made it seem unlikely that a deal could be reached.

There’s no beating around it, Hobbs is simply afraid to debate. The non-partisan Citizens Clean Elections Commission was working with Hobbs for weeks to try and nail down the particulars and schedule a handful of events.

No dice, says Hobbs, she’s going to stay put where she is and take a cue from her Democratic colleague in Pennsylvania and dodge the debate stage as long as possible.

If you think it’s because Hobbs doesn’t want to appear on stage with her Republican challenger, think again. During the primary, Hobbs also skipped the debate stage with her Democratic opponents as well:

Lake had already agreed to the debate and its format and called out Hobbs for refusing to engage, calling her “a coward.” She also said she was ready to hit the stage with Hobbs at any time, let her pick the moderator and write all the questions.

Hobbs also skipped the Clean Elections debate with her Democratic primary challenger, Marco Lopez. He was instead interviewed alone.

Katie Hobbs is an elected official in Arizona holding a statewide office as Secretary of State. The least she can do is join the discussion and defend her various positions and her record since 2019.

The Hobbs/Lake race has become extremely tight with the most recent polls showing a +1 lead for Lake and a +1 lead for Hobbs.

Hobbs is in no position to avoid a debate as if she’s 15-points ahead. The race is a statistical tie right now and with the national environment trending against Democrats, Lake may have a natural built-in advantage.

Hobbs is either afraid of being walked on by the well-polished and television-ready Lake, a former TV news anchor in Phoenix, or she doesn’t want to be in front of a camera defending or explaining her party’s record on inflation and the economy.

Whatever the answer is, don’t expect to see Hobbs and Lake on a stage together anytime soon answering questions for voters and laying out their respective visions for the state of Arizona.