Trump doesn't rule out supporting Brian Kemp in the Georgia gubernatorial race: 'We'll be looking at everything'

David Perdue
From left to right, then-Sen. David Perdue, then-Georgia gubernatorial nominee Brian Kemp, and then-President Donald Trump arrive at a campaign rally in Macon, Ga., on November 4, 2018.AP Photo/John Bazemore
  • Trump on Saturday didn't rule out backing Brian Kemp in the 2022 Georgia gubernatorial election.

  • "Well, we'll be looking at everything," he told Fox News while at CPAC in Dallas, Texas.

  • Trump railed against Kemp over his refusal to help overturn Biden's 2020 victory in Georgia.

For nearly two years, former President Donald Trump has lobbed political attacks against Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, accusing his onetime political ally of failing to bolster his claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

After seeing now-President Joe Biden narrowly win Georgia in November 2020 and pressing Kemp to help overturn the results, Trump has spent an enormous amount of energy in an effort to undermine the governor, even encouraging former Sen. David Perdue to run as a gubernatorial primary challenger against him.

But something huge happened; not only did Kemp win the GOP primary this past May, but he defeated Perdue in an electoral landslide.

With Kemp once again set to be the standard bearer for Georgia Republicans this fall, Trump said on Saturday that he was "looking" at potentially backing the governor in November as he faces Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams in a rematch of their 2018 contest.

While speaking with Fox News Digital at the the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, the former president didn't rule out a potential endorsement as the fall election approaches.

"Well, we'll be looking at everything," he said, without adding context regarding his current feelings about Kemp.

A vocal show of support for Kemp would be a major breakthrough if it were to happen.

After Trump endorsed Kemp in the 2018 Republican gubernatorial primary, he went on to beat then-Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who was long seen as a frontrunner in that race.

Cagle won the initial multi-candidate primary with a plurality of the vote, but since no candidate received over 50% of the vote, the top-two finishers advanced to a primary. And after Trump endorsed Kemp, he went on to beat Cagle by nearly 40 percentage points.

Trump's backing was seen as a key factor in Kemp's political rise.

Kemp would go on to narrowly defeat Abrams — a former Democratic state House minority leader and prominent voting-rights activist — by roughly 55,000 votes out of nearly 4 million ballots cast in what was the closest gubernatorial race in Georgia since 1966.

Two years later, when now-President Joe Biden defeated Trump in the state by roughly 12,000 votes out of nearly 5 million ballots cast, the then-president immediately cast doubt on the results and argued that there was widespread fraud — without providing any evidence.

Trump became incensed when Kemp and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger refused to help overturn Biden's 2020 election victory.

Shortly after the election, Trump said during a Fox News interview that he was "ashamed" to have backed Kemp's gubernatorial bid.

And before Trump was deplatformed from Twitter, he retweeted a post from attorney Lin Wood that called for Kemp and Raffensperger to be jailed for not challenging the Georgia election results.

Throughout 2021, Trump continued to rail against both state officials, calling into question their political futures headed into 2022 primaries where the former president remained widely supported by the Republican base.

The former president even suggested just last year that Georgia Republicans might have been better off if Abrams had defeated Kemp in 2018.

But GOP voters separated their overwhelming support for Trump with their views on Kemp and Raffensperger.

In addition to Kemp's victory, Raffensperger defeated Trump-backed congressman Jody Hice in a comfortable victory that reportedly "stunned" the former president, per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Read the original article on Business Insider