In a striking critique, Arizona Republican Senate candidate Kari Lake recently likened GOP contenders Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley to “chihuahuas” circling President Donald Trump. Lake’s comments in Des Moines, Iowa, ahead of the 2024 Republican primary’s first contest, signal a fiery prelude to the Iowa caucuses.
Lake, a staunch Trump supporter, criticized DeSantis and Haley for their substantial spending on campaign advertisements, describing their efforts as “vanity projects.” She argued that these expenditures were futile against Trump’s dominance. “They know they can’t beat President Trump, and they’re trying to nip at his ankles,” Lake told the Washington Examiner.
The weather in Iowa this weekend in advance of Monday’s caucuses, shaping up as a once-in-a-decade blizzard, led to the cancellation of a scheduled event in Pella. However, Lake remained active, engaging Trump voters in Des Moines and participating in tele-rallies. She echoed Trump’s belief that the harsh weather conditions would not dampen his support. “These are people who would crawl across broken glass to vote for President Trump,” she asserted, showcasing her confidence in Trump’s loyal base.
Lake, still considered by many as a potential vice-presidential candidate, downplayed such speculations, urging reporters to focus on more pressing issues like the border and Joe Biden’s other policy failures.
The Senate candidate also criticized Iowa’s Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) for endorsing DeSantis over Trump, questioning the decision’s alignment with Iowan values of loyalty. Lake’s remarks suggest an expectation for party unity behind Trump.
In the Arizona Senate race, Lake is in a tight contest with Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ). A recent Public Policy Polling survey shows them nearly tied, with Lake marginally ahead. The dynamics shift slightly in a potential three-way race involving Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ). Lake’s and Gallego’s support remains closely matched in that scenario, with Sinema trailing. The poll’s findings, within the margin of error, highlight the uncertainty surrounding Arizona’s 2024 Senate election.
Lake’s comments in Iowa and her standing in Arizona paint a picture of a politically savvy candidate adept at national and local political arenas. Her critiques of GOP rivals, confidence in Trump’s support base, and her competitive position in Arizona reveal a strategic approach to her Senate campaign and broader Republican politics.