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ORLANDO, Florida – Republican gubernatorial candidate and former Senator David Perdue of Georgia took aim at President Biden as he addressed the largest annual gathering of conservative activists and leaders.
And in an interview with Fox News Digital on the final day of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Perdue also took aim at GOP Gov. Brian Kemp, whom Perdue is challenging in Georgia’s May 24 primary.
“Joe Biden brought us high gas prices and runaway inflation,” Perdue charged as he took aim at the president in front of a large CPAC crowd on Sunday. Minutes earlier, he attacked Kemp as “a 20-year-old career politician desperate to keep his job”.
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Four years ago, with the backing of then-President Trump, Kemp narrowly defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams to win the governorship.
But the governor drew Trump’s ire from late 2020 after certifying Biden’s narrow victory in Georgia in the presidential election after two vote recounts. Trump, who had unsuccessfully urged Kemp and other top Republican state officials to overturn the results, has repeatedly promised to return to Georgia to campaign against Kemp. For months, the former president has urged Perdue to challenge Kemp in the primaries, and he endorsed it the day after he launched his candidacy late last year.
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Perdue’s decision set up an epic and increasingly nasty GOP primary battle with Kemp in a solidly red single state that has become a major general election battleground. Kemp also faces the main challenges of a lesser-known candidate.
Asked about the divisive tone of the primary race, Perdue pointed to Kemp’s campaign, saying ‘in their first attempt in December, they started with negative publicity… it didn’t move the needle at all’ .
Perdue also questioned Kemp’s ability to unite Republican voters in Georgia in the November general election against Abrams. The voting rights organizer, former Democratic legislative leader in the state and rising national star of her party launched her second straight gubernatorial race a week before Perdue entered the race. Abrams raised more than $9 million in the first two months of his campaign.
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“My question to Georgia is very simple – if Brian Kemp was able to unite our party and stand up against Stacey Abrams, wouldn’t he have done it already,” Perdue explained. “We have a divided party…I don’t believe Brian Kemp can bring disgruntled 2020 voters out and bring them together and unite them against Stacey Abrams.”
But Kemp currently has a big cash advantage over Perdue and enjoys an edge in public opinion polls.
“Governor Kemp has spent the past several months campaigning across Georgia, sharing his record of conservative results,” Kemp spokesman Cody Hall told Fox News. “Meanwhile, David Perdue is waging a desperate fake attack campaign that struggles in the polls and fundraising. If the former senator is upset with the current state of affairs in the Georgia Republican primary, he won’t just look in the mirror.”
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Trump, who 13 months out of the White House remains the GOP’s most popular and influential politician as he plays kingmaker in the Republican primaries and flirts with a 2024 presidential race, praised Perdue on camera as he starred in the former senator’s campaign. advertising.
“I talk to him frequently. He’s going to come to Georgia personally,” Perdue said of the former president.
Fox News’ Bryan Preston contributed to this report.