Under the bus: Trump reportedly pulls the plug on Perdue ahead of expected Kemp landslide

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

All that’s left now is the inevitable pissy statement on Tuesday night calling Perdue a “loser” and blaming him for not embracing the “rigged election” conspiracy tightly enough, never mind that Perdue’s entire argument against Kemp has been that he failed to stop the alleged steal in Georgia in 2020.


You know what the worst part of this is for Trump, the detail that must really chap his ass? Kemp’s going to win so easily that he won’t be able to claim Perdue was cheated without humiliating himself. There are plenty of MAGA fans out there who’d believe that a 55/45 Kemp victory was the product of chicanery if Trump said so. A 60/28 win, though? Nuh uh.

Trump’s going to have to eat it next week. No excuses.

No wonder he’s throwing Perdue under the bus a few days early, per NBC:

Even the man who recruited Perdue to run against Kemp — former President Donald Trump — seems to have given his campaign up for dead, said three Republicans who have spoken to Trump. They say Trump has groused about what he believes is a lackluster campaign effort from Perdue.

Trump isn’t planning to make any more personal appearances in Georgia in Perdue’s behalf, having sunk enough of his own political capital in a race that looks like a lost cause, said a fourth source, a person close to the former president, speaking on condition of anonymity to talk more freely about Perdue’s prospects…

Perdue’s campaign has scheduled $0 worth of ads for the campaign’s final week, while political action committees backing him have placed about $280,000 worth of ads on the air, according to data from the ad tracking company AdImpact…

“Donald Trump has worked harder to elect David Perdue than David Perdue,” a Trump adviser said, noting Trump held two rallies for Perdue, spent money on TV for him, paid for digital advertising and sent out emails and text messages in his behalf.


Perdue and his campaign have spent $6 million on ads, per NBC, which pales by comparison to the $10.5 million spent by Team Kemp. I can understand Trump being miffed that a rich guy like Perdue didn’t pony up more in pursuit of victory. What I can’t understand is why Trump, who’s sitting on a mountain of money raised by his Super PAC, contributed a measly $400,000 to his grand effort to ruin Brian Kemp’s career. As of March, Trump’s Save America PAC had raised $124 million in less than six months … and had spent just $14 million, or 11 percent, of it. By comparison, the NRSC spent 80 percent of the $135 million it raised since the start of 2021, according to Reuters.

Why didn’t Save America drop $5-10 million in Georgia to try to put Perdue over the top, or at least send him into a runoff? Trump’s fundraising prowess with the MAGA grassroots is such that he can basically print his own money. He would have recouped that expenditure in no time.

As it is, here’s the best Perdue can do to spin what looks to be a savage beating next Tuesday. I might not win, he told NBC, but rest assured that I won’t lose by 30 points:

Maybe if he loses by “only” 20 points, Trump will declare a moral victory. “Trump cost Perdue his senate seat with his lies about the election. Then he convinced him to run on those lies against a popular sitting Republican governor which is ending in what may be the most embarrassing loss of this primary cycle,” Stephen Gutowski wrote this morning. It’s true — few Republicans this side of Jeb Bush have seen their careers derailed as thoroughly by Trump as Perdue’s has been. If Trump had graciously accepted defeat in November 2020, Perdue would probably still be a U.S. senator. As it is, instead of enjoying a luxe retirement, he’s spent millions on a quixotic run for governor motivated by nothing nobler than settling a dubious personal score on Trump’s behalf.


He’s sacrificed enough of his dignity to Trump’s lie that he deserves the humiliation that’s coming to him. I hope he loses by 50 points.

By the way, Kemp might not be the only Trump enemy to prevail in Georgia. Don’t look now but Brad Raffensperger is neck and neck with Trumper Jody Hice in the race for secretary of state, which I find shocking. Kemp’s going to win because he has a strong policy record to run on; the outcome of the 2020 election is a footnote on his resume. With Raffensperger, it’s almost his entire resume. You would think that a Republican base primed to believe that vote-rigging occurred two years ago would be eager to send him packing. Not so:

With just days to go before the election, polls suggest an extremely close contest. That reflects a remarkable evolution from a year ago, when Raffensperger was widely seen as politically dead following his showdown with Trump.

“The fact that it’s competitive is a monumental shift in the environment,” said Brian Robinson, a GOP political consultant in the state, noting that many Republican voters are tired of Trump’s election claims whether they like him or not. They want to hear about solutions to inflation and rising gas prices, not about the previous election, he said…

In polling published last month by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Raffensperger and Hice were roughly tied, with more than 35 percent of likely GOP primary voters saying they were still undecided.


Raffensperger has been shrewd on the stump, refusing to back down on questions about 2020 but straining to steer the conversation around towards Georgia’s new “election integrity law,” which he’s defended staunchly against liberal attacks. If he and Hice end up in a runoff, I’ll be curious to see if any Trump frenemies — starting with Kemp — campaign for him. Will we see Mike Pence back on the stump in Georgia? Doug Ducey?

There’s one more detail from the NBC piece worth noting. This quote from a county Republican chairwoman in Georgia brought me up short: “It really bothered people here that he endorsed Dr. Oz… But in Georgia, based on what people say here, he needs to back off, just stay out of it. We like his policies, especially compared to what we have now, but most people think he’s gotten way too involved in things that shouldn’t matter to him.” I knew that Trump’s Oz endorsement had alienated some Trumpers in Pennsylvania but I didn’t realize that it might have repercussions nationwide.

He’d better hope that Oz comes through in the recount with Dave McCormick and ends up winning that Senate seat in the general election. If he doesn’t, some MAGA fans will want him to explain why he went all-in for a RINO who ultimately wasn’t even “electable.” No wonder he’s scrambling to find excuses.


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