"We’re going to go f---ing scorched-earth"

Former President Donald Trump had spent the previous year savaging the Republican governor for refusing to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results, and he was bent on ousting the governor from office, recruiting and endorsing Kemp’s primary opponent. Few Republicans in recent years had survived Trump’s wrath. But the Kemp team reassured the nearly 200 well-heeled contributors in attendance they had a plan.

“We’re going to go fucking scorched-earth,” Kemp adviser Jay Walker told the group, according to a person with direct knowledge of the remarks. Walker projected confidence: “When you got your foot on someone’s neck, you don’t take it off until the race is over, or they’ve run out of oxygen.”…

By the time Perdue launched his campaign in December, he found that Kemp had used the levers of his office to rally the support of state power players and pass legislation that assuaged pro-Trump voters. Kemp had won the backing of many of Perdue’s former longtime advisers, making it difficult for Perdue to build a political operation. And the governor had spent months aggressively courting the former senator’s biggest donors, leaving Perdue financially devastated and demolishing his plans to establish a big-spending super PAC.

Even Trump found himself struggling to make inroads in Georgia: He tried to persuade former football star Herschel Walker, who he is supporting in the Senate race, to come out in support of Perdue — to no avail.