Lake Won’t Pledge to Accept Election Results, and More News From the Sunday Shows

Kari Lake, the Republican candidate for governor of Arizona, refused on Sunday to commit to accepting the results of her election, using much the same language that former President Donald J. Trump did when he was a candidate.

“I’m going to win the election, and I will accept that result,” Ms. Lake said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The host, Dana Bash, then asked, “If you lose, will you accept that?” Ms. Lake, who is running against Arizona’s Democratic secretary of state, Katie Hobbs, responded by repeating, “I’m going to win the election, and I will accept that result.”

“The people of Arizona will never support and vote for a coward like Katie Hobbs,” she added, setting up a framework in which, if Ms. Hobbs were to win, Ms. Lake could present the result as evidence of election fraud. That is one of the arguments Mr. Trump made, suggesting that the 2020 election must have been fraudulent because the idea of President Biden receiving majority support was unbelievable.

Four years earlier, in 2016, Mr. Trump told supporters, “I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election if I win.”

In the interview on Sunday, Ms. Lake, a former television news anchor, continued to embrace Mr. Trump’s lie that the 2020 election was stolen and said, “The real issue, Dana, is that the people don’t trust our elections.”

This is a common argument among Republicans, many of whom have stoked public distrust in elections and then used that distrust to justify restrictions on voting. Ms. Lake said the distrust dated back more than two decades, citing the 2000 presidential election dispute and Democrats’ claims of irregularities in 2004 and 2016, even though the Democratic candidates conceded and there were no extrajudicial efforts to overturn the results.

The State of the 2022 Midterm Elections

With the primaries over, both parties are shifting their focus to the general election on Nov. 8.

Here is what else happened on the Sunday morning talk shows.

Lake and Hobbs discussed inflation.

Before the exchange about elections, Ms. Lake talked about the topics that dominate campaigns when democracy is not at issue — as did Ms. Hobbs in a separate interview on CNN.

Ms. Lake said she would address the impacts of inflation by eliminating Arizona’s taxes on rent and groceries and using the state’s general fund to replace lost revenue for local governments. Ms. Hobbs said she would provide child care assistance and a tax credit for career and technical education and try to increase housing construction to lower home prices.

Ms. Hobbs also reiterated her support for abortion rights. When asked if she supported “any legal limits” on abortion, she did not endorse any, noting that abortions late in pregnancy were very rare and saying, “Politicians don’t belong in those decisions.”

How Times reporters cover politics. We rely on our journalists to be independent observers. So while Times staff members may vote, they are not allowed to endorse or campaign for candidates or political causes. This includes participating in marches or rallies in support of a movement or giving money to, or raising money for, any political candidate or election cause.

Ms. Lake, who has campaigned on promises of an immigration crackdown, was asked whether she believed the United States had a responsibility to accept asylum seekers fleeing political violence.

“We have a great legal immigration system, a very generous legal immigration system. But we can’t afford to take on the world’s problems right now when so many Americans are struggling, so many Arizonans are struggling,” Ms. Lake said. She also said that many asylum applications were fraudulent.

Evan McMullin said he wouldn’t join either party.

Evan McMullin, an independent candidate, is posing an unexpectedly strong challenge to Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, though Mr. Lee is still favored. In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Mr. McMullin said unequivocally that he would not caucus with either party, even if his affiliation made the difference between a Democratic or Republican majority.

Mr. McMullin, who also ran for president as an independent in 2016, said that his campaign was building a “coalition” of support across party lines and that he had made a commitment to that coalition to “maintain my independence.”

The host, Chuck Todd, pressed him multiple times, first asking whether that commitment would extend through all six years of a Senate term and then asking twice whether his thinking would change if party control were on the line. His responses were consistent.

“I will not caucus with Democrats or Republicans,” he said. “I’m going to maintain my independence because I think our country needs that, and certainly our state needs that. I’ve made that commitment, and for party bosses and others in Washington, they’re going to have to figure out what this means for them.”

He argued that having an independent senator would give Utah more influence.

“With Senator Lee, we get none of that,” he said. “He sits on his hands until it’s time to vote no, and then he goes and complains about our country on cable news, and I’m just not going to do that.”

Mr. McMullin said that he would not have voted for the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act “as written” but that he supported parts of it, including allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices. He would not say whether he would support federal legislation on abortion, saying only that he opposed bans without exceptions for rape and incest and supported increasing access to contraception.

The Colorado Senate candidates made their cases.

Senator Michael Bennet and his Republican opponent, Joe O’Dea, were interviewed back-to-back on CNN.

The main topic was inflation, for which Mr. O’Dea blamed the $1.9 trillion pandemic stimulus package passed in March 2021 and the Biden administration’s energy policies. Mr. Bennet, a Democrat, blamed “broken global supply chains” and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (The causes of inflation — which is happening all over the world — are complex, and multiple factors are driving it.)

Mr. Bennet said he believed the Inflation Reduction Act would live up to its name once its provisions kick in fully next year. He emphasized the billions of dollars it includes for clean energy development, arguing that the funding would allow the country to “increase our energy independence and our economic strength and reduce emissions” at the same time.

Mr. O’Dea called for loosening the permitting process for new energy projects, naming natural gas alongside renewable energy but, notably, not mentioning oil or coal. “It’ll cause the price to come down, inflation will go away — that’s how you do it,” he said.

Mr. O’Dea also said, as he has before, that he did not want Mr. Trump to run for president again and would “actively campaign against” him in a Republican primary; he named Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley and Tim Scott as candidates he could support instead. He did not say what he would do in the general election if Mr. Trump won the primary.

In case you missed it …

Hundreds of Republican midterm candidates have questioned or spread misinformation about the 2020 election. Together, they represent a growing consensus in the Republican Party and a potential threat to American democracy.

In Oregon’s wild governor’s race, an independent candidate is siphoning Democratic votes and Phil Knight, the billionaire Nike co-founder, is pouring in money, giving an anti-abortion Republican a path to victory.

A new breed of veterans are running for the House on the far right, challenging assumptions that adding veterans to Congress would foster bipartisanship and cooperation.

4 Takeaways From the Campaign Trail

Ken BensingerReporting on politics from Los Angeles

4 Takeaways From the Campaign Trail

Ken BensingerReporting on politics from Los Angeles

Lauren Justice, Rebecca Noble and Nicole Craine for The New York Times

With elections less than a month away, our reporters are across the country following candidates. Scandal roiled the Los Angeles City Council, Mitch McConnell affirmed his support for Herschel Walker, and Senate and governor candidates in Nevada sought endorsements.

Here’s a look at the week in political news →

4 Takeaways From the Campaign Trail

Ken BensingerReporting on politics from Los Angeles

Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press

Los Angeles was rocked by news that three City Council members took part in a secretly recorded conversation involving racist comments. Faced with swirling public condemnation, including from President Biden, the Council president, Nury Martinez, resigned, while the other two officials have so far stayed put.

4 Takeaways From the Campaign Trail

Ken BensingerReporting on politics from Los Angeles

John Locher/Associated Press

In the critical swing state of Nevada, the Democratic Senate incumbent, Catherine Cortez Masto, received an endorsement from 14 family members of her Republican opponent, Adam Laxalt. In the governor’s race, the state’s largest teachers’ union announced that it wouldn’t endorse either candidate.

4 Takeaways From the Campaign Trail

Ken BensingerReporting on politics from Los Angeles

Nicole Craine for The New York Times

Polling in Georgia found less support among female, Black and independent voters for Herschel Walker, the Republican Senate candidate. He trails Senator Raphael Warnock, but by just three points, within the margin of error. Senator Mitch McConnell said he’d “stick with Walker,” an anti-abortion candidate who has been accused of paying for an abortion.

4 Takeaways From the Campaign Trail

Ken BensingerReporting on politics from Los Angeles

Haiyun Jiang/The New York Times

Two Democratic groups said they would pour millions of dollars into local races in a half dozen states before the midterms in hopes of winning back legislatures. The groups, the States Project and the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, are particularly focused on protecting voting and abortion rights.

Catch up on more political news.

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