Arizona gubernatorial hopeful Karrin Taylor Robson blasts ‘fraud’ Kari Lake ahead of primary: ‘An opportunist’

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Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Karrin Taylor Robson criticized her opponent, Kari Lake, ahead of Tuesday’s election, referring to her as a “fraud,” a “fake,” and a “fabulous actress” for her shift from being an anti-Trump Republican to singing the former president’s praises as she seeks to win the party’s nomination for governor.

In an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital, Robson detailed why she was the “better choice” over Lake to take on the likely Democratic nominee, Katie Hobbs, in the November general election, and touted her experience as a business owner and community servant as reasons primary voters should choose her on election day.

“I’m the better choice because I don’t need on the job training. I’ll tell the voters that if you want to see what that looks like, look at Kamala Harris. It’s not pretty,” Robson said, comparing Lake, a former journalist, to gaffe-prone Vice President Kamala Harris.

“I will bring to the table 30 years of experience on substantive issues that matter to Arizona. I will also bring 30 years of experience as an executive, as a small business owner, as a lawyer, as somebody who has signed both sides of a paycheck, as somebody who has a reputation for pulling people together, bringing people together to solve complex problems,” she added.

Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Karrin Taylor Robson speaks with Fox News' Brandon Gillespie on July 26, 2022.

Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Karrin Taylor Robson speaks with Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie on July 26, 2022. (Brandon Gillespie)

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When asked about her chances of coming out on top in a race that has seen Lake, whom former President Donald Trump endorsed, with a consistent lead in the polls, Robson argued she was on an upward trend and pointed to recent polls showing she had closed the gap.

“I feel great … I can tell you that I’d rather be me right now than my opponent, because we started out this year at zero, but we are now neck and neck,” she said. “And with each passing day, as more and more people get to know the real Kari Lake, they’re discovering that she’s actually a fraud, a fake. She’s not who she says she is. She’s a fabulous actress, I’ll give her that, but every day that that passes, people are coming my way.”

Last week, Fox News Digital broke the story that Lake had shared an anti-Trump “not my president” meme on Facebook just days before his inauguration in Jan. 2017. Robson touted that she was an original supporter of Trump during his first run for the White House in 2016. 

Despite the revelations, Lake has maintained the support of Trump, who first endorsed her in the race last year. His continued endorsement, however, hasn’t deterred Robson, who vowed to defend his record as president as she pointed to the other endorsements she’d received, including former Vice President Mike Pence and Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.

Former President Donald Trump and Kari Lake, whom Trump is supporting in the Arizona's gubernatorial race, speak during a rally at the Canyon Moon Ranch festival grounds in Florence, Arizona, on Jan. 15, 2022.

Former President Donald Trump and Kari Lake, whom Trump is supporting in the Arizona’s gubernatorial race, speak during a rally at the Canyon Moon Ranch festival grounds in Florence, Arizona, on Jan. 15, 2022. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

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Robson went on to blast Lake over the apparent flip-flop, and claimed voters were “waking up” and deciding to support her.

“It’s pretty revealing about who she is. I believe she’s an opportunist… she didn’t show up until after he was out of office, after she had declared Joe Biden the president,” she said. “So I think as these facts are revealed, people are waking up. And that’s why my numbers are where they are and that’s why we will win this race.”

Robson argued her experience being involved in the community, as well as her professional experience as a lawyer and business owner, would help her defeat Hobbs in a general election because it showed she has the “ability to bring people together” across party lines.

She then stressed the importance of expanding on the actions the Arizona legislature had already taken when it came to education, including banning the teaching of critical race theory, increasing school choice for parents, and bettering teacher pay.

Karrin Taylor Robson speaks at the SaddleBrooke Republican Club candidates breakfast in Tucson, Arizona, July 1, 2022.

Karrin Taylor Robson speaks at the SaddleBrooke Republican Club candidates breakfast in Tucson, Arizona, July 1, 2022. (Reuters/Rebecca Noble)

“Our legislature just greatly expanded school choice options to every student in our state. I will not only support that, I will expand that. We will pay our teachers like we want to keep them because we have to do better for our kids,” Robson said.

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“I believe with competition, the quality will go up, costs will go down, but parents will be able to choose. If a teacher is teaching CRT or anything close to it, they’ll be able to pull their kid out of the school and put them in a school that is teaching them real facts about American history, real facts about the exceptional nature of our country,” she said.

“Arizona will lead the way. We will show the rest of the country how to do it, and our kids deserve no less,” she added.

Fox News’ Aubrie Spady contributed to this report.