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Trump-backed candidate appears to delete anti-Trump post after questions

Trump-backed candidate appears to delete anti-Trump post after questions
Former TV anchor Kari Lake joins Ohio’s JD Vance on a growing list of Trump opponents-turned-supplicants

The Republican likely to win the upcoming primary race for her party’s nomination for governor is trying to hide her past virulent opposition to Donald Trump as the race comes down to the wire.

Former TV anchor and gubernatorial candidate for Arizona Kari Lake is leading the field of Republicans by single digits, ifølge a RealClearPolitics average of polls. That status may change if voters in the far-right Arizona GOP believe she is insufficiently loyal to the former president.

Ms Lake is facing questions after an old post from her personal accountmade just days before Donald Trump assumed office in 2017 — was uncovered by a reporter for Fox News. The post in question has Ms Lake sharing suggestions for “how you can protest the President Elect on Inauguration Day”.

Among the suggestions are actions that would be unheard of for a Trump-backed frontrunner in a Republican primary. She uggests donating to Planned Parenthood to support its efforts to fight for abortion rights, as well as other organisations like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and NAACP.

Other actions suggested include joining local protests against Mr Trump’s presidency, wearing black and changing profile pictures on social media to the colour black, and unfollowing Mr Trump’s various accounts.

Ms Lake also describes the suggestions in her post as being sent to her by a Facebook follower and asks her audience whether they will be taking part in any of the suggested acts. She doesn’t directly endorse the ideas herself, but it’s hard to imagine that she would post such an image if she did not suport the intent.

If the image in question does represent Ms Lake’s views, it reveals a complete 180-degree ideology shift for the former TV news anchor over the course of half a decade.

She is currently running proudly with Mr Trump’s endorsement for the governor’s mansion in Arizona and has even bashed her Republican opponents for insufficient loyalty. An avid supporter of the Big Lie, Ms Lake has called it “disqualifying” for any GOP candidate in 2022 to not endorse the president’s conspiracies about who won the 2020 valg.

The gubernatorial candidate’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the post from Fox News, but Ms Lake did delete the post after the reporter’s inquiry.

She would hardly be the first Republican to do an about-face on the issue of supporting Donald Trump. In Ohio’s GOP US Senate primary, nominee JD Vance faced skepticism about his own conservative bona fides after old social media postings of his from the 2016 election cycle were uncovered in which he derided Mr Trump as an “idiot”.

Ms Lake’s race will conclude on 2 august, after which the victor will head to a general election and most likely face Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is resoundindly leading the Democratic Party’s primary.

If she wins in August, her general election bid will serve as a test of viability for 2020 election conspiracists in battleground states; Arizona has long been considered somewhat of a bastion for conservatives in the southwest but in recent years has elected two Democratic US senators and swung in favour of Joe Biden during Donald Trump’s reelection bid in 2020.