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Transcript: Katie Hobbs, Arizona gubernatorial candidate, on "Face the Nation, Oct. 9, 2022

Arizona Democratic gubernatorial candidate declines to debate opponent
Arizona Democratic gubernatorial candidate declines to debate opponent, says "our schedule is pretty much set" 08:31

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

MAJOR GARRETT: Now to Katie Hobbs, she is 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 said you don't want to debate. I'd like to ask you: are there any conditions under which you would agree to debate Kari Lake, so the voters of Arizona could hear from the two of you, side by side and in real time?

DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE FOR AZ GOVERNOR KATIE HOBBS: Look, what I've been 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 she created during the GOP Republican primary. I have no desire to be a part of- of the spectacle that she's looking to create. Because that doesn't do any service to the voters of Arizona to hear from us, where we stand on the issues and how we would govern.

MAJOR GARRETT: So sometimes voters learn things from moments of duress or challenge or circus. Don't you think you're strong enough to handle any kind of circus Kari Lake might present if in fact, she were to present one? Don't the voters of Arizona deserve to see that real?

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

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

NOMINEE HOBBS: Oh, this is certainly not the first time that I've spoken out about immigration in this campaign. We are a border state and immigration as it is a very important issue to Arizona 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 issue are nothing but empty rhetoric. She's not offering real solutions. When she talked about invoking the constitutional authority of the state. She's talking about declaring an invasion at our southern border. That would do absolutely nothing to increase border security, but it would bring untold levels of chaos into our state. It's not a real solution. I have a border security plan that's been endorsed by two border sheriffs because they know that it's going to focus real solutions and bring meaningful relief and help them make their communities safer.

MAJOR GARRETT: As a practical matter, were Arizonans safer under immigration policies of the present administration or the one just before it?

NOMINEE HOBBS: Look, we've had a- a pretty bad immigration policy for decades. We need to get comprehensive immigration reform done. And it's both parties in Congress have been dragging their feet to- to get this done.

MAJOR GARRETT: But, when you say there is a failure of current immigration policy, that's a Biden administration failure, is it not by definition?

NOMINEE HOBBS: Look, Trump has centered his whole immigration policy around finishing the wall and it's not done. And- but Biden does need to step up immigration and border security. Absolutely. Arizona is bearing the brunt of- of illegal drug trafficking, gun trafficking and smuggling. And we do need more border security. It's not going to get done by declaring an invasion at the border or dismantling the F.B.I., which is another thing that my opponent has called for

MAJOR GARRETT: On the question of abortion, your opponent described you as something of an extremist, those are her words, not ours. Do you support the current 15-week ban in Arizona? Or would you seek- seek a different approach? And is there a week limit different than 15-weeks you are in favor of? And if so, why?

NOMINEE HOBBS: I don't support the 15-week ban. But let me just say that Kari Lake is- is entirely misconstruing my position on this issue. 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 incredibly wrong in a pregnancy. A doctor's not going to perform an abortion late in a pregnancy just because somebody decided they want one. That is ridiculous. And she's saying this to distract from her incredibly extreme position, which has– she's gone on the record saying she supports Arizona's complete abortion ban that what- that is in the courts right now being decided if that will be the law of Arizona or not. She's called it a great law. She's called people who seek abortion murders and executioners. And- and under a Kari Lake administration, we would have government mandated forced births that risk women's lives. And- and her position is the one that acts that's extreme. It's out of touch where- with where the majority of Arizonans are who support access to safe and legal abortion. And under her administration, women would not be safe.

MAJOR GARRETT: What would the Hobbs administration's week limit be for abortion access? If it's not 15-weeks? What is it?

NOMINEE HOBBS: Look, abortion is a very personal decision that belongs between a woman and her doctor. The government and politicians don't belong in that decision, we need to let doctors perform the care that they are trained and take an oath to- to perform.

MAJOR GARRETT: So if an Arizona voter were to conclude from your previous answer, that you do not favor any specific week limit on abortion, would they be correct?

NOMINEE HOBBS: I support leaving the decision between a woman and her doctor and leaving politicians entirely out of it.

MAJOR GARRETT: Our polling also indicates that the economy is very important to Arizona voters. And on that issue, both the economy generally, inflation specifically, according to our data, you trail your opponent. What is your approach to inflation and the economy in Arizona? And why is yours superior to that of your opponent?

NOMINEE HOBBS: Well, first, let me say I'm the only candidate in this race who is not a millionaire. My husband and I raised our kids through financial ups and downs. And I know the struggle that a lot of Arizonans are feeling right now having to stretch to put food on the table thinking about taking 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. That will put money back in their pockets. We cut taxes on all kinds of everyday items like over the counter medication, school supplies, diapers, feminine hygiene products, we provide a child- a state level child tax credit, and tax credits for people who want to go back to work in higher paying jobs to get career and technical education. Economists have looked at my affordability plan next to Kari Lake's plan and they said that my plan does put people back to work and- and help them fight inflation. And that Kari Lake's plan actually will make inflation worse.

MAJOR GARRETT: Do you identify yourself with the Biden economic administration- economic plans and inflation fighting plans? And if so, would you advise the President to campaign along your side in Arizona?

NOMINEE HOBBS: I'm focused on the race here in Arizona and the needs of Arizona and it's a race between myself and Kari Lake. And- and the- the ideas that we're bringing to the table.

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

NOMINEE HOBBS: At this point in the race with 30 days to go. Our schedule in terms of- of forums is pretty much set. And- and I'm really happy with where we are in the plans we have to continue talking directly to the voters of Arizona.

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

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