- Fox News host Sean Hannity last week called on Gov. Brian Kemp to exit the Georgia governor’s race.
- On Hannity’s evening show, he said that Kemp was “ineffective” and “not particularly well-liked.”
- During the segment, Hannity expressed his desire for former Sen. David Perdue to enter the race.
Fox News host Sean Hannity on Wednesday called on Republican Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia to nix his 2022 reelection campaign so conservatives can rally behind former Sen. David Perdue to face Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
With Abrams officially in the gubernatorial race, state Republicans quickly launched a stream of attacks against the former minority leader in the Georgia House of Representatives and longtime voting-rights activist who narrowly lost the 2018 gubernatorial race to Kemp.
However, unlike 2018, Kemp has seen his standing among conservatives deteriorate after months of attacks from former President Donald Trump, who continues to propagate allegations that the incumbent governor didn’t stand firm on election integrity in 2020.
Due to Kemp’s refusal to help Trump overturn President Joe Biden’s electoral victory in the state last fall, the governor has become a political pariah among many GOP activists, despite his continued embrace of conservative policies — including the signing into law of a restrictive voting bill earlier this year and a controversial anti-abortion law that was passed last year.
On his evening show, Hannity paid less attention to GOP triumphs in the state and more on Kemp’s political standing among the party faithful.
“Kemp has been very ineffective as a governor and frankly for the sake of the state of Georgia I think he should probably bow out of the race,” he said. “I think the candidate to watch — and I hope he gets in — is former Senator David Perdue. He would be a much better candidate versus Stacey Abrams.”
He continued: “If Kemp does stay in, that would also hurt Herschel Walker in his Senate race against Raphael Warnock. … Kemp is not particularly well-liked. I don’t think he’d be a good top of the ticket person for the Republicans.”
The former senator is reportedly being pitched as a unity candidate by Trump, who feels as though followers of his Make America Great Again movement will not support Kemp.
Walker, a former University of Georgia and NFL standout, is the frontrunner in the GOP Senate primary, which will determine who will go up against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, who was elected in a separate January 2021 runoff election.
Republicans are angling to win both races in a state that for years had been a conservative redoubt, but Democrats are banking on its increasing diversity and the exponential growth of Atlanta’s suburbs to aid them in what could be a tough midterm election for their party.
Abrams, for her part, has spent the last few years focused on her national voting-rights organization, Fair Fight Action, while also serving as a key surrogate for Biden, Ossoff, and Warnock last year.
If Abrams and Kemp emerge as their party’s respective nominees, it would set up a rematch of their 2018 contest.
Last month, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who represented much of the northern Atlanta suburbs in Congress from 1979 to 1999, wrote that Perdue could unify the GOP and faulted Kemp for his poor standing with Trump.
“Instead of trying to reconcile with the former president and his million-plus supporters in Georgia, Kemp has followed a policy of ruthlessly purging Trump supporters and trying to move to the center at the expense of the majority of the Republican Party,” he wrote.
“The result of the Kemp decision to double down on his fight with President Trump has destroyed the governor’s ability to win a general election – even if Kemp somehow won the primary, he would almost certainly lose in November,” he added.