Trump allies rally around Brian Kemp while Trump himself rails against the Georgia governor: report

Trump allies rally around Brian Kemp while Trump himself rails against the Georgia governor: report

When former Sen. David Perdue lost Georgia’s 2022 GOP gubernatorial primary to Gov. Brian Kemp by a brutal 52%, it was not only a humiliating defeat for Perdue — it was also a major humiliation for former President Donald Trump, who endorsed Perdue and hates Kemp with a passion. As Trump sees it, Kemp committed a cardinal sin when he refused to go along with the Big Lie and acknowledged that President Joe Biden legitimately won Georgia in the 2020 presidential election. But some major Trump allies, reporter Greg Bluestein emphasizes in an article published by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on June 2, are now rallying around Kemp’s reelection campaign.

That includes former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Perdue himself. During the primary, Perdue campaigned on the Big Lie and slammed Kemp as a RINO (Republican In Name Only) who is soft on voter fraud and let

the Biden campaign get away with stealing Georgia from Trump. Biden’s campaign, of course, did nothing of the kind; Biden won the Peach State fair and square.

But after losing badly to Kemp, Perdue wasted no time congratulating him on his victory — and he is now stressing that Republicans’ top priority in Georgia needs to be helping Kemp defeat his Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, in the general election. When Kemp defeated Abrams in Georgia’s gubernatorial election of 2018, it was a narrow victory — and that election made Abrams a major star in the Democratic Party.

“The unifying calls sharply contrast with the message from Trump, who earlier this week, fired off a mass e-mail declaring that ‘something stinks in Georgia’ that linked to an error-filled essay from a far-right author about the state’s primary,” Bluestein reports. “Even some of the former president’s loyalists, however, warn that Republicans can’t win in November if they bleed Trump supporters in another statewide election.”

Gingrich told the Journal-Constitution, “Gov. Kemp met the challenge. He used the power of the governorship to fund a large and effective campaign and shrank his opponent’s vote, while his opponent couldn’t raise the resources to avoid being drowned in negative ads.”

Marci McCarthy, who chairs the DeKalb County Republican Party in Georgia, aggressively supported Perdue over Kemp in the primary. But now, Bluestein notes, McCarthy is supporting Kemp in the general election — and she predicts that “the Georgia GOP will rally behind Gov. Kemp.”

But Bluestein notes that support for Kemp “isn’t universal among diehard Trump supporters — a factor that could haunt Republicans in a closely divided state where even small changes in voting patterns can sway the outcome.”

Indeed, Georgia has become much more Democrat-friendly than it was during the 1990s or 2000s. Between Abrams coming within striking distance of Kemp in 2018, Biden’s victory in Georgia and the fact that both of Georgia’s U.S. senators are Democrats (the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff), it is obvious that Georgia is no longer a deep red state and has evolved into a swing state.

“Senior Republicans worry that Trump’s backlash against Kemp could also hamper GOP Senate nominee Herschel Walker, who is challenging Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock in a contest that could once again decide control of the chamber,” Bluestein reports. “Some of Kemp’s lesser-known GOP critics still vow to sit out the race even if it risks a Democratic victory.”

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