Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Wednesday offered a bad faith comparison to justify the state’s stricter voter ID law, saying he had to show his ID the last time he flew Delta Air Lines.
“The last time I flew Delta I had to show my ID,” Kemp said in a statement. “Today’s statement by Delta CEO Ed Bastian stands in stark contrast to our conversations with the company, ignores the content of the new law, and unfortunately continues to spread the same false attacks being repeated by partisan activists.”
Kemp insisted on Wednesday that the Election Integrity Act “expands voting access and protects the sanctity and security of the ballot box” while snidely urging Bastian to compare his state’s voting laws “with other states Delta Airlines operates in.”
The pointed attack comes after the company’s CEO blasted the state’s new voting law as “unacceptable” and premised on the lie of a stolen election in a memo on Wednesday.
Senior aides within Kemp’s administration are reportedly pushing for retaliation against Delta for speaking out against the legislation.
According to local ABC-affiliated station, WSB-TV, some Republican lawmakers are mulling ways that they can penalize Delta by amending pending tax legislation.
“Frankly I’m getting sick and tired of these corporations that are happy to come to us to ask for fuel tax credits or subsidies to build plants and they’ll come back around and be hyper partisan,” state Rep. Philip Singleton (R) told the network.
The Delta chief executive on Wednesday said Georgia’s overhaul of its election rules was based on the farce of widespread voter fraud in the state.
“The entire rationale for this bill was based on a lie: that there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia in the 2020 elections,” Bastian said. “This is simply not true. Unfortunately, that excuse is being used in states across the nation that are attempting to pass similar legislation to restrict voting rights.”
The strong rebuke from the Atlanta-based company was followed by a statement from Coca-Cola signaling its own opposition to the new law.
Both statements have come as some advocacy and voting rights groups have put forward lawsuits alleging discrimination while others have called for a boycott to apply pressure to Atlanta-based corporations to use their clout and resources to push back on the new law.
In an interview with WSB-TV earlier this week, Kemp chalked calls for boycotts up to “cancel culture.”
“I knew what was coming from the other side. I knew that they were going to try to do this boycott, cancel culture and everything else,” he said. “And I wanted to get out in front of that and get the bill signed and let people know what was in it.”