“Of course, having her might be better than having your existing governor if you want to know the truth,” Trump said, albeit giving an underhanded compliment.
In a state riddled with allegations of vote suppression, Abrams worked with the New Georgia Project nonprofit to register an estimated 800,000 new voters, mostly people of color and young people often overlooked in the state. She formed Fair Fight Action just days after her gubernatorial loss to Gov. Brian Kemp, launched a federal lawsuit seeking an overhaul of Georgia’s voting system, and vehemently fought against Kemp’s heartbeat legislation prohibiting abortions after a heartbeat can be detected. Since then, she has fiercely advocated for federal voting rights protections that would stop Republican-led legislatures from imposing restrictive new laws on taxpayers in their states.
To say it more succinctly, Abrams would absolutely make a better governor than Kemp, but Trump likely only brought her up to insult Kemp and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, who have stood by the validity of election results in Georgia. Kemp, the former secretary of state, has done so oddly in the name of protecting elections while also pushing legislation to make it more difficult to vote in the state.
Georgia Sen. Burt Jones, who Trump backed at the rally, is running to fill Duncan’s seat. He announced he would not be seeking reelection. Other candidates Trump supported at the rally include Republican Rep. Jody Hice, who is running to unseat Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and former NFL star Herschel Walker, who publicly announced his campaign to challenge Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock during the rally.
“You hear so many politicians that say I’m going to roll up my sleeves and get to work. If you notice, I don’t wear sleeves, so I’m ready to go to work today because that’s the way life is,” Walker said. “Hershel Walker don’t look like a politician, Hershel Walker don’t dress like a politician. Hershel Walker don’t sound like a politician. But Hershel Walker is running for Senate.”
Georgia voters elected Warnock, unseating former senator Kelly Loeffler in a January runoff election. He is seeking a full term in 2022, and he has earned it. “As it did in 2020 this race is going to determine control of the Senate,” Sen. Brian Schatz tweeted on Saturday. “And Raphael Warnock has been an extraordinary Senator – leading on healthcare and economic development for Georgia, and civil rights. We are all fortunate to have him in the Senate. Please help if you can.”
Rep. Nikema Williams, who leads the Democratic Party of Georgia, issued this statement on Friday ahead of the rally: “Donald Trump’s rally will once again put Georgia Republicans’ infighting and internal chaos on full display — throwing lighter fluid on Georgia’s GOP primaries and feeding into long, divisive nomination battles up and down the Republican ticket. None of Trump’s candidates are running to help working Georgians or defeat the pandemic. Instead, they’re building campaigns around defending lies, prolonging the pandemic, and opposing any meaningful progress for Georgians. While the former president continues to wreak havoc within the Georgia GOP, the Biden administration and Georgia Democrats are focusing on things that actually matter to Georgians: defeating the pandemic, expanding access to health care, and getting our economy back on track.”