Ex-President Donald Trump had to do quite a bit of arm-twisting to get former Sen. David Perdue (R) to run against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) in the upcoming gubernatorial election, according to the Washington Post.
First of all, the Post reported that Perdue privately blamed his defeat in the Jan. 5, 2021 Senate runoff against Democrat Jon Ossoff on Trump, who was at the time fresh-off his crusade of falsely claiming Georgia’s election process was rigged — therefore giving GOP voters the impression that they shouldn’t bother voting in the high-stakes Senate race in the first place.
Trump reportedly tried to pressure Perdue into running for governor in early 2021 during two rounds of golf at the ex-president’s Mar-A-Lago resort. However, Perdue wasn’t persuaded, and Kemp told advisers that the former senator had promised him he wouldn’t run, according to the Post.
Then Trump reportedly had Perdue come over two more times for a golfing session in the months following his first lobbying attempts and drew up a poll that apparently indicated the former senator could beat Kemp.
Perdue finally caved and launched his campaign with Trump’s stamp of approval in December, even though his friends and advisers had urged him not to out of fear his bid might fracture the GOP, the Post reported.
Since jumping into the race, Perdue has made it clear that he’s running on the sole platform of lying about the 2020 election on Trump’s behalf and blaming nonexistent voter fraud on Kemp, who’s currently enjoying a double-digit lead over Perdue in the polls.
During the GOP primary debate on Sunday, Perdue began his opening remarks with a false declaration that the 2020 election was “rigged and stolen,” leading to an ugly standoff between him and Kemp as they squabbled over who was more dedicated to upholding Trump’s lies about voter fraud.