Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday delivered a broadside against Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia over his plans to campaign with current and former Republican governors, dismissing them all as “Republicans in name only.”
The May 24 Republican primary grew increasingly bitter as Trump seeks revenge on a governor who refused to follow his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
But Trump’s first pick, former Sen. David Perdue, is fighting in what has become a proxy battle for the former president with the GOP establishment.
Trump chimed in with a statement in which he blew up Kemp and said that a win for him would be a blow to “election integrity.”
“Today Brian Kemp, the country’s worst ‘electoral integrity’ governor overloaded the great state of Georgia with RINOs,” he said in an emailed statement.
“That’s right, he had them all.
“Chris Christie, Doug Ducey from Arizona and Pete Ricketts from Nebraska.
“That tells you everything you need to know about what you’re getting in Georgia – just a continuation of bad elections and a real RINO if you vote for Brian Kemp.”
Former President Donald Trump is poised to oust Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp after he ignored pleas to overturn his state’s 2020 election result
Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey is among the figures supporting Kemp
Chris Christie was an adviser to Trump during the 2020 campaign but has spoken out against the former president for insisting the election was stolen
Trump wants to help oust Kemp after the governor refused to reverse his 2020 defeat in the state.
However, the latest polls show that Kemp, with about 53-54 percent support, is comfortably ahead of Perdue’s 31-38 percent.
The race has seen Republicans from the establishment wing supporting Kemp, while Trump loyalists have lined up to support the challenger.
Kemp has garnered the support of the National Rifle Association and former President George W. Bush.
The Republican Governors Association has also backed his campaign, throwing millions of dollars into the state, including television commercial purchases.
And his co-chairs Ricketts and Ducey are expected to travel across the state to give Kemp a nudge.
Former New Jersey Gov. Christie will also lend his support, according to CNN.
Despite being an advisor during the 2020 campaign, he has spoken out against Trump for insisting the election was stolen.
The result could be one of Trump’s riskiest confirmations as he seeks to impose his personality and war chest on the Midterms.
“A vote for Brian Kemp in this primary is a vote for Stacey Abrams,” Trump said in a recent teleconference, citing the likely Democratic nominee.
“And I’m telling you, I don’t think the Republicans are going to go out and vote for Brian Kemp in the general election.”
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts is another senior Republican campaigning for Kemp
At the same time, the former president himself has admitted that defeating an incumbent like Kemp could be difficult.
‘It is difficult. It’s very hard to beat because they have a lot of money behind them. You know, everyone gives them money,” Trump said in an interview with conservative broadcaster John Fredericks.
“But we’ll see what happens.”
Trump has also endorsed Rep. Jody Hice, who is sec in the primary race with Georgia. President Brad Raffensperger, whom he famously asked in a post-race phone call to “find” 11,000 votes.
He has seen several of his top-notch endorsers win so far – including author and former Marine JD Vance in Ohio.
But on Tuesday, his pick, Charles Herbster, lost the Nebraska Republican gubernatorial primary. He missed Jim Pillen, who was assisted by Ricketts.