Trump backs the Georgia governor candidate who said he'd use a truck to 'round up criminal illegals'
Donald Trump tweeted out his endorsement for Secretary of State Brian Kemp on Wednesday, a move that comes less than a week before the GOP's July 24 primary runoff for governor of Georgia. There was little indication before this that Trump preferred Kemp over Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who has the support of termed-out Gov. Nathan Deal, and Trump's tweet only offered the usual «tough on crime, strong on the border and illegal immigration» platitudes that he gives out to pretty much all his endorsed candidates.
However, it's possible the White House has decided that Kemp is likely to win next week, and they want to take credit for his victory. And while a recent independent poll from the University of Georgia gave Kemp only a small 44-41 lead, there's a good reason to think he had the edge even before he got Trump's help. Even though Cagle led Kemp 39-25 in the first round of the primary in May, the lieutenant governor has struggled to pick up more support despite decisively outspending his opponent. Trump may also simply prefer Kemp, who used one ad to brag about his «big truck, just in case I need to round up criminal illegals and take 'em home myself,» to the more establishment-friendly Cagle.
On Wednesday, Kemp also earned an endorsement from Clay Tippins, who took fourth place in May with 12 percent of the vote. This move was very unsurprising, since Tippins released a recorded conversation with Cagle last month where the lieutenant governor admitted to supporting a bad bill solely to stop a super PAC from backing another candidate, former state Sen. Hunter Hill. Tippins later provided Kemp with more audio of that conversation where Cagle was heard saying that primary voters were too extreme and driven by identity politics. Earlier this week, Kemp also picked up the support of Hill, who took 18 percent of the vote.
Cagle is also out with what his campaign has labeled his closing ad, and let's just say he's not ending the extremely nasty campaign on a warm and fuzzy note. The narrator details what he says are Kemp's victims after 20 years in politics, beginning with, «26 women sexually assaulted during massages.» The commercial does not go into any detail about this very explosive charge, but Cagle's allies recently launched a different ad (you know, that spot that resembled a 1970s softcore porn video) arguing that the secretary of state failed to revoke licenses of a business with a «series of sexual assault complaints,» and declaring that they and other companies like them contributed heavily to his campaign.
The spot continues by saying that Kemp's legacy also includes «57 farmers stiffed for millions, hundreds of seniors hurt by abusive nurses, [and] 6 million Georgians exposed to identify theft.» The narrator then asks what Kemp has to say about «20 years of failures,» and it shows a clip from his last ad where Kemp says, «I say merry Christmas.» The rest of the ad declares that NRA head Oliver North, Trump's state chair, and Deal support Cagle.
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