Pence’s decision to campaign for one of Trump’s key GOP targets marks another split with his former boss after he said earlier this year that the former president was “wrong” in his belief that Pence would disregard the election results. 2020 could have destroyed. Pence will ally with Kemp on Monday, a day before the Republican primary, which has turned into a proxy fight between the establishment and Trump wings of the GOP.
“Brian Kemp is one of the most successful conservative governors in America,” Pence said in a statement released Friday. “Brian Kemp is my friend, a man devoted to faith, family and the people of Georgia. I am proud to offer my full support for four more years to Brian Kemp as governor of the great state of Georgia!”
Kemp said in a statement Friday that he and his family are “honored” by Pence’s support and praised his leadership as vice president. Marc Short, Pence’s former chief of staff, is a senior adviser to Kemp’s campaign.
Trump has repeatedly criticized Kemp for his role in certifying Georgia’s 2020 election results, claiming Republicans would stay home in November if the governor is the party’s nominee. Perdue has focused his campaign on lies about Georgia’s 2020 election results and has called Kemp a “weak” leader.
Despite the attacks from Trump and Perdue, Kemp has maintained a lead in the polls. And while many Republicans are frustrated that Kemp is certifying Georgia’s 2020 election for President Joe Biden, some voters who support Perdue have said that even if he loses the primaries, they would still support the incumbent governor in the fall. .
Pence isn’t the only high-profile Republican backing for Kemp. Administrations Pete Ricketts of Nebraska and Doug Ducey of Arizona, as well as former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, all of whom have clashed with Trump, will also campaign for Kemp ahead of the Georgia primaries, a source familiar with the plans previously told CNN. Ricketts and Ducey are co-chairs of the Republican Governors Association, which has put money into the race to support Kemp, including a major TV ad purchase in the state.
Pence, who has historically been loyal to Trump and his political movement, has increasingly taken on the former president publicly, particularly in the 2020 election, but also on other matters such as Trump’s praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin.