Sen. Mark Kelly: Kari Lake's rhetoric 'could result in people getting hurt or killed'

Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona on Friday blasted Arizona GOP Senate candidate Kari Lake for her recent violent rhetoric, saying on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” that Lake’s comment could result in people “getting hurt or killed.”

Kelly, a Democrat, was asked about comments first reported by NBC News in which Lake told supporters at a campaign event last month, “They’re coming after us with lawfare. They’re going to come after us with everything. That’s why the next six months is going to be intense. And we need to strap on our — let’s see. What do we want to strap on?”

She added, “We’re going to strap on our, our seat belt. We’re going to put on our helmet or your Kari Lake ball cap. We are going to put on the armor of God. And maybe strap on a Glock on the side of us just in case.”

Kelly admonished Lake for her rhetoric, telling moderator Kristen Welker in an interview that aired Sunday, “When you’re a candidate for the United States Senate, you need to be careful with your words. We’ve seen this throughout history. So I hope people reject that. I think they should consider their language and try to do better going forward.”

The senator spoke about his experience with political violence, reflecting on the 2011 shooting that left his wife, then-Rep. Gabby Giffords, severely injured.

“She was shot in the head while meeting with her constituents. Six people died. Another 18, including her, were injured. It was a horrific act of political violence,” Kelly told Welker.

“We need people in elected office that want to take this country in a better direction where we accept the outcome of elections, where we don’t use language to try to incite our supporters. We don’t need folks in the United States Senate that they’re comfortable using language like that,” he added.

Lake, a former TV news anchor, is running for office in her second consecutive election cycle after she narrowly lost a bid for governor in 2022. Now, she’s running for an open Senate seat against Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego, whom Kelly has endorsed.

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