EXCLUSIVE: Conservative firebrand and Republican Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake is offering a solution to her own party following its multiple election losses last week, telling Fox News Digital that success at the polls would come to the GOP in 2024 because its voters would ‘show up’ to vote for one major name on the ballot.
‘When we get President Trump on the ticket, we get some great people who are going to put the citizens of their states and the country first,’ Lake said, just days removed from an election night that saw Republicans lose a gubernatorial race in deep-red Kentucky and Democrats winning total control of the Virginia state legislature.
‘I have faith that in 2024, people are going to show up in such massive droves because things have gotten so bad. And when President Trump’s on the ticket, they’re going to show up. He brings people out, he brings enthusiasm,’ she said.
Lake admitted more campaigning could have been done to boost the candidate’s in Tuesday’s election, but said Kentucky was always going to be a tough race for Republicans to flip considering only two GOP governors had been elected in the state over the past few decades.
She also argued driving up voter enthusiasm in an off-election year was more difficult.
A number of Republicans attempted to blame former President Donald Trump for the losses, including his presidential primary opponent, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
‘Trump endorsed candidate Daniel Cameron loses the Governor’s race in DEEP RED Kentucky. Another loss for Trump. The losing will only end for Republicans if we rid ourselves of Donald Trump. Trump—loser in ‘18, ‘20, ‘21, ‘22 and now ‘23,’ Christie wrote on X.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, another Trump opponent, joined in during Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate, saying during his opening remarks, ‘[Trump] said Republicans were gonna get tired of winning — what we saw last night, I’m sick of Republicans losing.’
When asked about that blame being placed on Trump, Lake pointed to the re-election victory of GOP Gov. Tate Reeves in Mississippi, as well as that of Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, who flipped his state’s gubernatorial seat from Democrats in an election last month.
‘He got very involved in those races, and so his endorsement means a lot,’ she said.
Lake, in turn, placed some blame for the Kentucky loss on the Republican Governors Association (RGA), who she said ‘could have done a lot more’ to win. She also ripped Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who chairs the organization, for being distracted with her support for DeSantis’s presidential campaign.
‘I think that was a misstep, frankly,’ she said.
Lake also responded to criticism that Republican abortion policy also contributed to the losses, including in Ohio where a ballot initiative asking voters if the ‘right’ to an abortion should be enshrined in the state constitution was overwhelmingly approved.
‘I’m a big believer that no matter what the abortion laws are, how many weeks, whatever it is, what we need to do as Republicans and, frankly, just as citizens, is figure out why women are choosing to have abortions,’ she said.
‘Oftentimes it’s because they don’t feel they can afford their baby. And it’s tough in this economy. You know, people can’t even afford life on their own. And then you add a baby to the mix. And it’s a very scary prospect for women,’ she added.
Lake argued that Republicans should focus instead on how to help women and families in those situations, and that it could be done through tax breaks and ‘baby bonuses.’
‘I want to make sure that we’re helping women and really, truly give them choices so that they don’t make the tragic choice,’ she said.
Lake went on to cite Hungary’s significant abortion rate drop, which fell 23% from 2010-2015, and continued falling thereafter, according to government statistics. The drop reportedly happened without any introduction of new abortion restrictions, and instead came alongside the introduction of ‘pro-family’ government policies, that included defining life as beginning at conception and encouraging adoption.
‘They cut abortions in half by empowering families, empowering women to be the parents that they could be. And I think that’s where we should be focused right now. We could cut abortions in half, and that would be absolutely wonderful to see all those beautiful babies and see all those wonderful parents who are happy that they made the choice to keep their children,’ she said.
The race for Arizona Senate is expected to be one of the most closely watched in the 2024 election cycle. Lake’s only major opponent in the Republican primary is Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb.
Fox News’ Aubrie Spady contributed to this report.