Former President Donald Trump delivered a campaign speech Wednesday against Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia for his campaign plans with current and former Republican governors, dismissing them all as “Republicans in name only.”
The Republican primary on May 24 has grown increasingly bitter as Trump seeks revenge on a governor who refused to follow his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
But Trump’s top pick, former Sen. David Perdue, is fighting in a contest that has become a proxy battle for the former president with the GOP establishment.
Trump weighed in with a statement blasting Kemp and saying a win for him would be a blow to “election integrity.”
“Today, the nation’s worst ‘election integrity’ governor, Brian Kemp, charged the great state of Georgia with RINO,” he said in an emailed statement.
“It’s true, he had them all.
‘Chris Christie, Doug Ducey of Arizona and Pete Ricketts of 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 intends to bring down Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia after ignoring calls to overturn his state’s 2020 election results
Republican Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is among the figures campaigning for Kemp
Chris Christie was an adviser to Trump during the 2020 campaign, but spoke out against the former president for insisting on stealing the election
Trump intends to help oust Kemp after the governor refused to overturn his defeat in the state in 2020.
However, the latest polls show Kemp on around 53-54% support, comfortably ahead of Perdue on anything from 31-38%.
The race saw establishment-wing Republicans back Kemp, while Trump loyalists lined up to support the challenger.
Kemp won the support of the National Rifle Association and former President George W. Bush.
The Republican Governors Association has also beefed up its campaign, dropping millions of dollars into the state, including TV ad buys.
And his co-chairs Ricketts and Ducey are expected to travel across the state to give Kemp a boost.
Former New Jersey Governor Christie will also lend his support, according to CNN.
Although he served as an adviser during the 2020 campaign, he spoke out against Trump for insisting on stealing the election.
The result could be one of Trump’s riskiest endorsements as he seeks to impose his midterm personality and war chest.
“A vote for Brian Kemp in this primary is a vote for Stacey Abrams,” Trump said in a recent conference call, citing the likely Democratic nominee.
“And I’ll tell you, I don’t believe Republicans are going to vote in the general election for Brian Kemp.”
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts is another high-ranking Republican campaigning for Kemp
At the same time, the former president himself admitted that it might be difficult to defeat a starter like Kemp.
‘It’s hard. It’s very hard to beat, because they have a lot of money behind them. You know, everybody gives them money,’ Trump said in an interview with conservative broadcaster John Fredericks.
“But we’ll see what happens.”
Trump also endorsed Rep. Jody Hice who is in the primary race with Georgia sec. of state Brad Raffensperger, who he asked to “find” 11,000 votes in a post-race phone call.
He’s seen several of his high-profile sponsors win so far, including author and former Marine JD Vance in Ohio.
But on Tuesday, his pick, Charles Herbster, lost the Republican gubernatorial primary in Nebraska. He missed Jim Pillen, who had Ricketts’ backing.