ATLANTA — Former U.S. Sen. David Perdue rocked the state’s Republican party in early December when he decided to get into the governor’s race.
He’ll have to beat out current Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in the primary to win a shot to face Democrat Stacey Abrams in the fall.
In his first interview of any kind since announcing he was going to run, Channel 2′s Justin Farmer sat down with Perdue to ask why he’s running and how he’d lead Georgia.
The Warner Robins native told Farmer his initial intentions were to run for the Senate again, having lost to Democrat Jon Ossoff in November 2020.
But then he took a hard pivot with an eye toward the governor’s mansion.
“As I watched our current governor who, in my opinion, caved in 2020, and turned our election process over to Stacey Abrams, wasn’t doing anything to pull our party together,” Perdue said.
“Is there any concern that you fracture the Republican Party in Georgia? You and the governor can’t beat each other up? And it just makes Stacey Abrams look stronger?” Farmer asked Perdue.
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“Well, I think from my standpoint, we’re not going to do that. But people have said that political elite establishment here in Georgia have all said, ‘Well, of course, David, you’re going to divide the party, the party is already divided.’ And that’s one reason I’m in here,” Perdue said.
Perdue has been criticized by many for standing by former President Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud. Farmer asked Perdue if the two are close.
“Well, look, he has a different personality,” Perdue said. “I didn’t see Donald Trump coming. He gets elected in ‘16 and ‘17. I was in the White House with a small group that laid out the agenda. And I fought hard for that agenda. Regulation, energy taxes, Dodd Frank, and it actually created the best economic turnaround in US history.”
On policy, Perdue and Kemp are closely aligned.
“I want to eliminate the state income tax. I think it can be done here in the state. I want our parents to be in charge of what’s being taught to their kids. I want our cities and state to be safe again. I will continue to fight the Biden mandates. But at the same time, I’m going to make darn sure that in the future, we never turn our election process over to Stacey Abrams or anybody of her yoke,” Perdue said.
Perdue told Farmer he’s perhaps most passionate about Georgia families and schools.
“My mom and dad were teachers. My dad was a school superintendent, integrated one of the first school systems in Georgia. My mother actually started the first gifted program and they always felt, then, this is a recent change by the way, that my mom always felt that the curriculum should be owned by the parents. I remember having book reviews and they also had parents involved in these curriculum committees. Today, in some counties, you have to file a nondisclosure agreement to get in and see what these people are teaching your children. That’s not right,” Perdue said.
In response to Perdue’s claims that Kemp caved in challenging the 2020 election results, the governor’s campaign responded with a statement, saying:
“If David Perdue is moving his lips, the odds are he is lying. While Perdue was playing golf for 11 months after handing the US Senate to Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris, Governor Kemp was fighting to pass the top-rated election integrity bill in the country.”
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