Failed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake is alleging some “powerful people” offered her a bribe to leave politics.
During a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Lake shared the allegation.
“It shows how desperate these people are to stop me and to silence you,” she said as an introduction to the story. “Somebody showed up at my door this week. They called me before and said, ‘I got to talk to you in person. This can’t be done over the phone.'”
She went on:
“They came to my door and they tried to bribe me out of getting out of politics. It’s really happened. I’m telling you this because this is how disgusting politics is. A mom who runs for office and they’re afraid of me? They tried to bribe me with a job title, with a huge salary, a position on a board. This is how they do it.”
Lake noted she “walked away from a big job and a big salary” and said she is “not motivated by that stuff.”
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The conservative firebrand asserted “some powerful people back East” were behind the effort.
After sharing she rebuffed the attempt, Lake claimed the individual tried again and told her, “All we’re asking for you to do is to get out of politics for two years.”
Given Lake’s affinity for claiming to be the governor of Arizona when she is not, it would not be surprising if some details of the conversation were left out or twisted to suit her purpose.
But even if the conversation was conveyed accurately, it was more likely the result of political operatives being scared to death that Lake could cost Republicans yet another election in 2024 than trying to “silence” her supporters.
She lost the race for governor in a year expected to be excellent for Republicans. Her defeat came four years after the Republican governor at the time won re-election by 15 percentage points in a rough year for Republicans.
Lake has also expressed some openness to running for Senate in Arizona in 2024.
Democrats would probably love to run against Lake in the Senate race.
And if she did run, Democrats could easily weaponize her efforts to undermine the 2022 election’s legitimacy, and bizarre claims to be governor against her — likely keeping the seat out of Republicans’ hands for another six years at least.
If Republicans are concerned about Lake running for Senate — or some other office — in 2024, they should focus on finding quality candidates who can beat her in the primary. Trying to coax her out of politics with a cushy job offer reeks of the kind of backroom deals so many on the populist Right rail against, and it could have the opposite of its intended effect.
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