Georgia Republican Herschel Walker says he doesn't support either Brian Kemp or David Perdue for governor: 'I'm mad at both of them'
Herschel Walkersays he doesn't support either Gov. Brian Kempor David Perduefor Georgiagovernor.
- "I'm mad at both of them," the Trump-endorsed Senate candidate told a group of students, the AJC reported.
Herschel Walker has former President Donald Trump's endorsement in his campaign for the Republican nomination for US Senate in Georgia. But he's not on board with the full slate of Trump-endorsed candidates running in the crucial battleground state.
Walker told a group of college students on Monday that he doesn't support either the incumbent GOP Gov. Brian Kemp, who's seeking a second term, or David Perdue, the former US Senator running a Trump-endorsed campaign to challenge Kemp in the Republican primary, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
"I don't support either one of them. I'm mad at both of them," Walker said at an event at the University of North Georgia, according to audio obtained by the Journal-Constitution.
Walker has remained neutral in the bruising primary between Kemp and Perdue. A spokeswoman for his campaign told the Washington Examiner in August 2021 that Walker would be "focused on his senate campaign and is not getting involved in any other races this cycle."
But his latest remarks go a step further in chiding both candidates for their increasingly bitter and nasty primary campaign.
Walker, a former University of Georgia football star and NFL player turned politician, said he's known Kemp since he was 16 and Perdue since he was 19, and urged party unity.
"This is what I want to say to everyone here: I want to bring this party together. We've got to bring this party together," he told the students.
"What has happened now is some people get sour grapes and they don't get out and vote," Walker said. "And I want to say whoever loses that race – whether it's Gov. Kemp or Sen. Perdue – he needs to tell his people to go out and vote for the other. It's time for you to stop having sour grapes and think about this party."
The "sour grapes" comment was likely in reference to the fallout from the 2020 election. Trump and his allies' aggressive attempts to reverse his presidential election loss depressed Republican turnout in the subsequent January 2021 Senate runoffs, in which Georgians elected Warnock and Sen. Jon Ossoff to hand Democrats control of the Senate.
Trump's continued anger at Kemp for certifying the 2020 election and not aiding his efforts to overturn the presidential election drove him to endorse Perdue, who said he would have not have certified the 2020 election.
Trump admitted in an interview with journalist David Drucker for his book "In Trump's Shadow" that his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia led many Republicans to stay home in the runoffs.
"They didn't want to vote, because they knew they got screwed in the presidential election," Trump told Drucker, saying he didn't campaign as "strongly" as he could have because "I was very angry with what happened there."
The most recent poll of the governor's race, conducted by the conservative Trafalgar Group, found Walker with a decisive lead for the GOP nomination to challenge Warnock this fall and found Kemp leading Perdue by a margin of 10 points, 49% to 39%, ahead of the May 24 primary in Georgia.
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