Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee

Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee
© Getty Images

Georgia Gov. Brian KempBrian KempKemp sues Biden administration over Medicaid work requirements Predictions of disaster for Democrats aren't guarantees of midterm failure Perdue proposes election police force in Georgia MORE (R) said that he will “absolutely” support former President TrumpDonald TrumpJudge rules Alaska governor unlawfully fired lawyer who criticized Trump Giuliani led fake electors plot: CNN Giuliani associate sentenced to a year in prison in campaign finance case MORE if he became the Republican Party’s presidential nominee, even after recent comments from Trump voicing regret over backing Kemp in 2018.

Pressed by Fox News's Neil Cavuto in an interview on Wednesday about whether he would support Trump if he became the party’s nominee in 2024, Kemp said: “Absolutely, I'm going to support the nominee.”

“As I said, again, I worked very hard for the president. I think his ideas ... will be part of our party for a long time in the future,” Kemp said. “And Republicans, we need to have a big tent. I mean, there's a lot of great ideas out there.”

“We're not always going to get along, but I think the president deserves a lot of credit,” Kemp continued. “And he's not going away.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Just earlier this week, Trump said he thought his decision to back Kemp ahead of the Republican gubernatorial primary runoff in 2018 was “an endorsement that hurt us.”

Trump claimed that Kemp, whom former Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle competed against in a GOP primary runoff election, was “in last place or just about in last place” at the time of the endorsement.

“I endorsed him, he ended up winning the election and he certainly was not very effective for the Republican Party, to put it nicely,” Trump said.

The statement by Trump is one of a series of jabs the former president has made at Kemp in the wake of the 2020 presidential election, in which traditionally red Georgia stunned the nation when it went for a Democrat for the first time since 1992.

Trump has starkly criticized Kemp and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) multiple times since the election after the two pushed back against unsubstantiated claims Trump made about widespread voter fraud costing him the state and his reelection.

In late November, Trump said he was “ashamed” that he endorsed Kemp years back. He also pushed for primary challengers for the governor in the weeks following the election and asked then-Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsJan. 6 panel releases contempt report on Trump DOJ official ahead of censure vote Lobbying world Sunday shows preview: Biden administration confronts inflation spike MORE (R-Ga.) at a rally in December if he would like to run for the position. Trump has also called for Kemp to step down. 

Later in December, Kemp brushed off calls from Trump to resign, as well as calls for him to face a primary, characterizing the attacks as distractions. 

“As far as me getting primaried, I could care less about that right now,” Kemp said at the time. “The biggest thing we all need to do, regardless of what you think about what’s going on in Georgia, we’ve got to support David PerdueDavid PerduePerdue proposes election police force in Georgia Kemp campaign alleges Perdue team illegally coordinating with new fundraising committee Abrams treads carefully in relationship with Biden MORE and Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Eleven interesting races to watch in 2022 Democrats' selective hearing on law and order issues puts everyone at risk MORE.”

Then-Sens. David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) ended up losing their seats to Democrats Jon OssoffJon OssoffMissouri Senate candidate says Congress members should go to jail if guilty of insider trading Perdue proposes election police force in Georgia Ossoff and Collins clash over her past support for voting rights legislation MORE and the Rev. Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Perdue proposes election police force in Georgia Kelly takes under-the-radar approach in Arizona Senate race MORE, costing the Republican Party its control of the upper chamber.