On the eve of Georgia’s GOP gubernatorial primary, Monday evening, former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence are scheduled to participate in competing campaign events.
Key races will test both Trump and Pence’s political power and set the table for a showdown in the general election over which party controls Congress.
Pence is endorsing incumbent Governor Brian Kemp, who is now in direct conflict with Trump-endorsed candidate David Perdue. Pence is scheduled to appear at a campaign rally on Monday night.
Trump will also be appearing in a virtual tele-rally for Perdue just days after the president disputed a report by NBC that he had stopped lending his support to the former senator.
Here’s what President Trump said on his social media site, Truth Social:
“The Kemp campaign, together with Fake News NBC, has put out a phony narrative that I have given up on David Perdue in Georgia.”
“That is completely false! I am with David all the way because Brian Kemp was the worst governor in the country on election integrity!”
A recent Fox News poll “found that 60% of Republican voters in the state prefer Kemp, while only 28% support Perdue – compared with 50% versus 39% in March,” The Daily Mail noted on Friday.
Kemp has repeatedly been criticized by Trump for his handling of the 2020 election.
Pence, meanwhile, endorsed Kemp late into the race. Here’s what Pence said:
“Brian Kemp is my friend, a man dedicated to faith, family and the people of Georgia. I am proud to offer my full support for four more years of Brian Kemp as governor of the great state of Georgia.”
Taylor Budowich, a spokesperson for Trump, said that Pence’s involvement in the Georgia race was a part of his attempt to stay relevant.
Budowich said in a statement:
“Mike Pence was set to lose a governor’s race in 2016 before he was plucked up and his political career was salvaged. Now, desperate to chase his lost relevance, Pence is parachuting into races, hoping someone is paying attention. The reality is, President Trump is already 82-3 with his endorsements, and there’s nothing stopping him from saving America in 2022 and beyond.”
Daily Wire reported that Pence has not denied that he is considering running in 2024:
Pence has not denied that he is considering running in 2024, even if it means running against Trump. Trump has not officially declared his candidacy but has repeatedly told his supporters that he believes they will be “very happy” with his announcement regarding the election.
“We’ll go where we’re called,” Pence had previously said regarding his future plans. “That’s the way Karen and I have always approached these things,” he added in reference to his wife.
Kemp and Perdue also face candidates Catherine Davis, Kandiss Taylor, and Tom Williams in the primary.