Kari Lake, who ran an unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign during last year’s midterm elections, has found a new use for her: She is now a — perhaps the? — GOP political litmus test.
Or at least, that’s how she’d have it.
On Thursday, the failed candidate and Iowa native spoke at a GOP event in her home state, where she issued a challenge to potential Republican presidential candidates ahead of the 2024 race.
“I ask you that every candidate who comes through — when they stand on this stage, when they’re shaking your hand, when they’re walking through town, taking your questions — that you ask them where they stand on election integrity,” she said. “And I think you should get even more specific, ‘Was the 2022 election for governor in Arizona stolen?’ And if they won’t say ‘Absolutely, yes,’ that’s a big red flag.”
“That’s a big red flag,” she added. “Ask all of them.”
Lake has been piggybacking off of the Big Lie ever since she lost her campaign to then-Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, by 17,000 votes. She’s since pushed a series of legal challenges through Arizona courts in an attempt to redo the election, but time after time judges have ruled against her or dismissed her claims.
On March 23, the Arizona Supreme Court affirmed their rejections, with Chief Justice Robert Brutinel declaring that most of her challenges were “insufficient to warrant the requested relief under Arizona or federal law.” But he did find that one of her claims was improperly dismissed — a lower court had interpreted her challenge as to Maricopa County’s signature verification process in general rather than how it was implemented in the 2022 election — so the high court asked the lower court to revisit it, barely keeping her challenge, and her ability to fundraise on it, alive.
Nonetheless, Lake is now trying to frame herself as a benchmark for Republican loyalty, positioning her loss next to former president Donald Trump’s — another legitimate loss twisted for the base into a credo of paranoia.
“When Ron DeSantis comes, ask him where he stands,” Lake told voters in the city of Nevada, Iowa, on Thursday. “And ask President Trump. And I’ll tell you what, I know that one of them will be honest with you about these elections. And one of them is Donald J. Trump.”
Kari Lake is not going anywhere anytime soon.