As you may have heard, former President Donald Trump gathered the faithful in Perry this weekend in support of his slate of candidates for office in Georgia: Herschel Walker (Senate), Burt Jones (Lt. Governor), and Jody Hice (Secretary of State). Vernon Jones (Governor) is trying hard to get the Trump endorsement, but it continues to elude him.
I didn’t watch the event, which apparently began early in the morning and included a viewing of the UGA-Vanderbilt football game. Instead, I throughly enjoyed myself watching Georgia Tech thrash #21 North Carolina 45-22.
As you might imagine, the rally featured a number of, shall we say, interesting statements and oddities. Let’s start with the appearance of Georgia GOP Chairman David Shafer, at what was clearly an event for Trump’s slate of candidates. I’m not accusing Shafer of also endorsing the Trump Slate, but if I were one of the other candidates in those races, I’d be asking Shafer questions this morning.
Let’s talk about Trump. It’s no secret he loathes Governor Brian Kemp. First of all Trump reiterated his view that Georgia would have been better off if Stacey Abrams would have defeated Kemp (whom Trump endorsed) in 2018. Given that Georgia’s unemployment rate is approaching pre-pandemic levels, and our state will come into the 2022 Legislative session with a budget surplus (after cutting taxes for working class Georgian) I’m not sure many non-Trump First Republicans would agree with him.
Trump also seemed to bless another Abrams run for Governor in 2022! I’m not sure she’s waiting for his permission, but I am sure that will show up in a Abrams for Governor ad, should she run.
All of this prompted a strong response from former GOP State Rep. Allen Peake:
Prior to the rally, Trump predicted that Republicans would stay home in droves if Kemp defeats Vernon Jones and Kandiss Taylor in the GOP Primary for Governor. Given his comments at Saturday’s rally, one wonders if Trump’s pre-rally prediction is really a prediction or rather a threat? Trump First voters have stayed home before, just ask Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.
I’ve been saying for some time now that I think the Georgia GOP is headed down the wrong path. They are focusing on the 2020 election rather than putting forward ideas and candidates that can win in 2022. In the wake of the Perry Rally, I think it’s reasonable to ask the Trump Slate if they will support the eventual GOP nominees, no matter who it is? And do they agree with Trump that Georgia would have, and will be, better off with Abrams than Kemp?