Transcript: Katie Hobbs, Arizona gubernatorial candidate, on Face the Nation, October 9, 2022

The following is a transcript of an interview with Katie Hobbs, Democratic candidate for governor in Arizona, that aired on Sunday, October 9, 2022.

CHIEF GARRETT: Now for Katie Hobbs, she’s the Democratic nominee for governor and she’s also in Phoenix this morning, Secretary Hobbs, good morning. Welcome to Face the Nation. So your opponent has said you don’t want to debate. I would like to ask you: are there any conditions under which you would agree to discuss Lake Kari so that the voters of Arizona can hear from the two of you, side by side and in real time?

AZ DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR KATIE HOBBS: Look, what I’ve focused on is opportunities like this where they can see us back to back and hear directly from us about the issues that are important to Arizonans and how we would govern without a circus like the one he created during the GOP primaries. I have no desire to be part of the spectacle he wants to create. Because it doesn’t serve the voters of Arizona to learn from us where we stand on the issues and how we would govern.

MAJOR GARRETT: So sometimes voters learn things from moments of pressure or challenge or circus. Don’t you think you’re strong enough to handle any kind of circus Kari Lake might put on, if she actually did put one on? Don’t the voters of Arizona deserve to see this for real?

CANDIDATES HOBBS: I think the voters of Arizona have had a chance to see how I work under a crisis throughout my leadership during the 2020 election as Secretary of State. When we had to fight off multiple election challenges from former President Trump and his team of election naysayers, including my opponents Kari Lake.

MAJOR GARRETT: So I want to ask you about immigration. We had a long discussion with Kari Lake about this. Last night you tweeted: “Arizona bears the brunt of US immigration policy failures.” Now by our count, this is your second tweet in a month about immigration. Who specifically is responsible for this failure? And why did you just now decide to share this feeling with your Twitter followers?

CANDIDATES HOBBS: Oh, it’s certainly not the first time I’ve spoken out about immigration in this campaign. We are a border state and immigration as such is a very important issue for Arizona’s border voters. And as a border state, we have borne the brunt of decades of inaction in Washington from both parties to address both border security and comprehensive immigration reform. And- and we need the federal government to step up. But what I want to be really clear about is that my opponent’s positions on this matter are nothing but empty rhetoric. It offers no real solutions. When he spoke of invoking the constitutional power of the state. He’s talking about declaring an invasion on our southern border. This would do absolutely nothing to increase border security, but would bring untold levels of chaos to our state. It’s not a real solution. I have a border security plan that has been endorsed by two border sheriffs because they know it will focus real solutions and bring real relief and help them make their communities safer.

INTERVIEWER GARRETT: As a practical matter, have Arizonans been safer under the immigration policies of this administration or the one just before it?

CANDIDATES HOBBS: Look, we’ve had a- a very bad immigration policy for decades. We must complete comprehensive immigration reform. And it’s both parties in Congress that are dragging their feet to make this happen.

BIG GARRETT: But, when you say there’s a failure of current immigration policy, that’s a failure of the Biden administration, isn’t it by definition?

CANDIDATES HOBBS: Look, Trump has centered his entire immigration policy around finishing the wall and it hasn’t been done. And- but Biden needs to step up immigration and border security. Absolutely. Arizona bears the brunt of drug trafficking, arms trafficking, and smuggling. And we need more border security. It’s not going to be done by declaring an invasion of the border or dismantling the FBI, which is what my opponent has called for.

PORTMAN GARRETT: On the abortion issue, your opponent has described you as an extremist, those are her words, not ours. Do you support Arizona’s current 15-week ban? Or would you look for a different approach? And is there a week limit other than the 15 weeks you are in favor of? And if so, why?

CANDIDATE HOBBS: I don’t support the 15-week ban. But let me just say that Lake Kari is – it completely misrepresents my position on this. You and I both know that late term abortion is extremely rare. And if it’s being talked about, it’s because something has gone horribly wrong with a pregnancy. A doctor is not going to perform an abortion late in pregnancy just because someone has decided they want to. This is ridiculous. And she’s saying this to distract from her incredibly extreme position, which — she’s gone on record as saying she supports a total abortion ban in Arizona — is what’s in the courts right now deciding whether that will be Arizona’s law. or not. He calls it a great law. People who seek abortion are called murders and executioners. And- and under the Carey Lake administration, we would have government-mandated forced births that put women’s lives at risk. And- and her position is one that acts extreme. It is out of touch with where the majority of Arizonans stand who support access to safe and legal abortion. And under her rule, women would not be safe.

PORTER GARRETT: What would the Hobbs administration’s weekly limit on abortion access be? If not 15 weeks? What is this?

CANDIDATE HOBBS: Look, abortion is a very personal decision that belongs between a woman and her doctor. The government and politicians have no part in this decision, we must let doctors do the care they are trained and sworn to do.

INTERVIEWER GARRETT: So if an Arizona voter were to conclude from your previous answer that you don’t favor a specific weekly limit on abortion, would that be correct?

CANDIDATE HOBBS: I advocate leaving the decision between a woman and her doctor and leaving politicians completely out of it.

MAJOR GARRETT: Our poll also shows that the economy is very important to Arizona voters. And in this matter, both the economy in general, inflation in particular, according to our data, you follow your opponent. What is your take on inflation and the economy in Arizona? And why is yours superior to your opponent’s?

CANDIDATES HOBBS: Well, first, let me say that I’m the only candidate in this race who isn’t a millionaire. My husband and I raised our children through financial ups and downs. And I know the struggle many Arizonans are feeling right now, having to stretch to put food on the table, thinking about getting a second job or not being able to pay the mortgage. And so we have a comprehensive plan to address the rising costs that Arizonans are facing right now. This will put the money back in their pockets. We cut taxes on all everyday items like over-the-counter drugs, school supplies, diapers, feminine hygiene products, provide a statewide child tax credit, and tax credits for people who want to go back to work paying jobs to get a career and technical education. Economists have looked at my affordability plan alongside the Lake Kari plan and said my plan puts people back to work and helps them fight inflation. And that Kari Lake’s plan will actually worsen inflation.

ELDER GARRETT: Do you identify with the Biden economic administration – economic plans and anti-inflation plans? And if so, would you advise the President to campaign on your side in Arizona?

HOBBS CANDIDATES: I’m focused on the race here in Arizona and the needs of Arizona and it’s a race between me and Kari Lake. And-and-the ideas we bring to the table.

PORTMAN GARRETT: And one more time before we let you go because I think it’s on the minds of the voters of Arizona. Are you saying, this morning, that there is no circumstance that you can envision or even try to negotiate in which you and Kari Lake would appear together in a pre-election debate?

HOBBS CANDIDATES: At this point in the race with 30 days left. Our forum schedule is pretty much set. And- and I’m really happy with where we are in the plans to continue talking directly to the voters of Arizona.

INTERVIEWER GARRETT: Katie Hobbs, Arizona Secretary of State, Democratic candidate for governor, thank you very much and we’ll be right back with a lot more Face to Nation. We invite you to stay with us.

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