Former Sen. David Perdue doubled down on unfounded claims about the 2020 election being stolen during a brief speech to Oconee County Republicans on Monday.
Perdue, who is running against Gov. Brian Kemp at the urging of former president Donald Trump, blamed Kemp for divisions within the party and said he’s better positioned to beat Democrat Stacey Abrams in November because he can turn out Trump voters.
“There are so many hard, indisputable pieces of evidence that have not come out because of the way this has been run,” Perdue said. “I’m just telling you, that has divided the party. I wish it weren’t so, but it is.”
Blaming lax absentee ballot rules for his loss, Perdue said he beat Democrat Jon Ossoff by 90,000 votes, “including all the illegal activity,” almost twice as many as Kemp beat Abrams by four years ago. (Perdue didn’t clear the 50% threshold and lost in a runoff.) “By the way, in 2018, Brian had Trump’s endorsement,” he said. “You know who got it for him? Me.”
And, he said his presence at the top of the ticket will help the GOP Senate nominee, presumably former Georgia football star Herschel Walker. “If it’s Brian Kemp, tell me how [the Republican Senate nominee gets the Trump voter out?” Perdue said. “I think it’s going to be a problem.”
But a recent poll conducted by the University of Georgia for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that Trump’s endorsement made no difference for most Republican voters. Kemp led Perdue by 26 points in the poll, 53% to 27%.
About 75 people attended the meeting at Marswood Hall, a wedding venue at St. Philothea Greek Orthodox Church. That’s less than half who attended Kemp’s speech at an Oconee GOP meeting in December, where Kemp defended the integrity of the 2020 election.
Perdue echoed many of the claims he made a day earlier, during a particularly contentious Sunday debate on WSB-TV. Numerous lawsuits, several state audits and recounts, and media investigations found no evidence of widespread fraud in Georgia that could have tipped the balance. In reality, post-election analysis found that Trump’s stolen election claims likely depressed turnout among Republicans in the January runoff, boosting Ossoff and Sen. Raphael Warnock.
Nevertheless, “I saw existing evidence on ballot trafficking and ballot harvesting,” Perdue said. “Seen any of this coming out on YouTube and all? It’s real.”
He said Kemp should have called a special session so the legislature could overturn the election results and pledged to further reform election laws even after the legislature passed and Kemp signed the controversial Senate Bill 202 last year.
“I want a law enforcement agency that will enforce the voting laws, I want an audit process, and I want to get rid of these blessed—we’re in a church—but the Dominion machines have to go,” Perdue said.
Perdue also criticized Kemp’s deal to build a Rivian electric truck plant near Monroe, pledged to get rid of the state income tax and said he would “get the woke mob out of our schools.”
In response to an audience question about liberal university professors indoctrinating students, Perdue said he would work with his cousin, newly appointed Chancellor Sonny Perdue, to do something about that.
Kemp recently reconfigured the Board of Regents to put the former governor, a longtime political ally, in charge of higher education. David Perdue added that he was happy for his cousin, and said he would support Kemp in November if Kemp wins the primary.
“If he wins, I will promise you, we will do everything we can to help him win, because the No. 1 goal I have is to stop Stacey Abrams from being the next governor of Georgia,” Perdue said.
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