Pence’s decision to campaign for one of Trump’s top GOP targets marks another rift with his former boss after he said earlier this year that the former president was “wrong” in his belief that Pence could have called off. the 2020 election results. Pence will join Kemp on Monday, a day before the Republican primary, which has turned into a proxy fight between the establishment and the Trump wings of the GOP.
“Brian Kemp is one of America’s most successful conservative governors,” Pence said in a statement released Friday. “Brian Kemp is my friend, a man dedicated to faith, family and the people of Georgia. I am proud to offer my full support to Brian Kemp for four more years as Governor of the great State of Georgia!”
Kemp said in a statement Friday that he and his family were “honoured” to have Pence’s support and praised his leadership as vice president. Marc Short, Pence’s former chief of staff, is a senior campaign adviser to Kemp.
Trump has repeatedly criticized Kemp for his role in certifying Georgia’s 2020 election results and claimed Republicans would stay home in November if the governor was the party’s nominee. Perdue centered his campaign on lies about Georgia’s 2020 election results and called Kemp a “weak” leader.
Despite attacks from Trump and Perdue, Kemp maintained a lead in the polls. And though many Republicans are frustrated with Kemp certifying Georgia’s 2020 election for President Joe Biden, some voters who support Perdue have said that even if he loses the primary, they would still support the incumbent governor in the fall.
Pence isn’t the only high-profile Republican backing Kemp. Govt. Nebraska’s Pete Ricketts and Arizona’s Doug Ducey, as well as former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — all of whom have clashed with Trump — will also campaign for Kemp ahead of Georgia’s primary, a source familiar with the plans says. . CN. Ricketts and Ducey are co-chairs of the Republican Governors Association, which has poured money into the race to support Kemp, including a big TV ad buy in the state.
Pence, who in the past has loyally aligned himself with Trump and his political movement, has increasingly clashed with the former president in public, including in the 2020 election, but also on other issues, such as than Trump’s praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin.