A former reporter and anchor who is running as a Republican for Arizona governor railed at a local reporter after he grilled her over donations she said she and her husband made more than 15 years ago to Democratic presidential candidates including former President Barack Obama and former Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry.
Kari Lake, a former Fox10 anchor in the Phoenix area who walked away from her profession of decades earlier this year over the direction she feels it is going, had a tense back-and-forth with local reporter Dennis Welch, who began the interview by asking her about the donations.
The monetary gift to Kerry in 2004 as he ran against then-incumbent President George W. Bush was made under her married name, Kari Halperin and listed her employer as Zen Video. The Obama donation, according to public records obtained by Welch, was made by “K. Halperin” of Zen Video, but Lake said repeatedly the donation was an error and was actually made by her husband, Jeffrey Halperin.
But then Lake began to take Welch to task over what she viewed as his angle for the story — that someone who once donated to Democrats could not somehow change their political views and/or affiliations later in life — according to the full 10-minute interview, which was posted to her Facebook page.
“Well, I just wanna know…you know, how you go from donating to Democrats to running for the governor…as a Republican candidate for governor,” Welch asked in the video interview.
“So, you could never be a Democrat in your life and then become a Republican?” Lake responded before going on to explain her political choice.
“If people haven’t opened their eyes the last year, I don’t know how somebody wouldn’t open their eyes and become a conservative after what we’ve been through,” she continued.
Lake went on to explain she grew up “conservative,” but indicated there was a short period of time when she leaned more Democratic, comparing herself to the late President Ronald Reagan.
“What’s the problem with it?” she added, before noting that she has reviewed Welch’s career in media and suggested he has a bias towards conservatives and Republicans.
“When do you ever do a story on a conservative that’s not a hit piece or isn’t full of innuendo and nastiness towards conservatives?” Lake pressed as Welch seems to shift uncomfortably in his seat.
“People are onto it. They’re so sick of it,” she went on, adding that more people are leaving the industry because of it.
Welch tried to ask a follow-up question about the contributions, but Lake cut him off.
“You don’t wanna talk about that, huh? Why would you have to do a piece where it’s negative? I can’t wait to see the headline on this one,” she said.
The headline for the eventual story by Welch was, “Kari Lake defends donating to Democratic presidential candidates.”
“You wouldn’t do this with a liberal,” Lake said.
Welch countered by asking her why she views his reporting as biased against conservatives while insisting that he’s been fair.
“Your reporting and your past reporting,” Lake countered.
Welch disagreed and defended his past record of reporting on the two political parties, but Lake wasn’t having it.
“I just think it’s really interesting…that the crux of this interview is about…wow, she’s donated in the past or she might have had voted Democrat before…who gives a crap?” Lake railed.
“So, what changed?” Welch asked.
“What changed? Have you not seen? Dennis, have you not seen the country this country is going?” Lake responded. “Have you not seen them with the Democrats are doing? They’re for defunding the police, they’re for this ridiculous curriculum that is destroying the minds of our children, they’re for shutting down businesses, locking us up in our homes, making us wear masks, forcing vaccines on us, they’re for abortion all the way up and past birth. Seriously if, if somebody is still a Democrat. The Democrat party has changed.”
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