- Donald Trump made last-minute plea to Georgians to vote for David Perdue and defeat Brian Kemp.
- Trump joined Perdue in a Monday night tele-rally as the candidate trails his rival in the polls.
- Perdue, a former US Senator, joined the Georgia gubernatorial race in December at the urging of Trump.
Former US Senator David Perdue closed his campaign for governor of Georgia Monday with a racist jab at Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams and a tele-rally with Former President Donald Trump.
During the tele-rally on Monday, Trump restated his support for the former US Senator.
"Our country, I don't think it's ever been in worse shape than it is right now," Trump said, adding that the outcome of Tuesday's primary elections in Georgia is "critical" to restoring the Republican majority in the Senate. Perdue is one of eight candidates — including Abrams and sitting Governor Brian Kemp — running for governor of Georgia.
Trump urged Georgia residents to vote for Perdue because he's "100% MAGA."
"You'll look back in years to come. And you'll say that was a great vote just as I hope you feel that your vote for me was a great vote," Trump said in the 11-minute telephone rally.
Trump has been trying to oust Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensbeger since the duo properly certified Joe Biden's 2020 electoral win. Kemp and Raffensperger conducted a statewide audit and oversaw multiple recounts of the more than 5 million votes Georgians cast in the 2020 presidential contest.
Their refusal to go along with Trump's baseless claims of election fraud relegated them to the disloyal camp. The revenge-seeking, single-term president has been hounding them ever since.
Trump claimed Monday that Kemp "allowed the Georgia election to be rigged and to be stolen."
"I don't believe Kemp can do it," he said about the possibility of the sitting governor winning the primary. "He's got too many people in the Republican party that will refuse to vote."
Perdue, though, has claimed that he would not have certified the 2020 election in Georgia.
On Monday, Perdue also took a racist jab at Abrams
"When she told Black farmers, 'You don't need to be on the farm,' and she told Black workers in hospitality and all this, 'You don't need to be' — she is demeaning her own race when it comes to that," he told attendees at a campaign stop in Dunwoody, Georgia, about Abrams, who is a Black woman. "I am really over this. She should never be considered for material for governor of any state, much less our state — where she hates to live."
"She said that Georgia is the worst place in the country to live," he also said during that rally. "Hey, she ain't from here. Let her go back where she came from if she doesn't like it here."
Abrams moved to Georgia in high school and previously served in the state's legislature. At a fundraising event for Gwinnett County Democrats near Atlanta, Abrams said that she was "tired of hearing about being the best state in the country to do business when we are the worst state in the country to live."
"When you're number 48 for mental health, when you're number one for maternal mortality, when you have an incarceration rate that's on the rise and wages that are on the decline, then you are not the number one place to live in the United States," Abrams said.
"But we can get there. You see, Georgia is capable of greatness. We just need greatness to be in our governor's office," she added.
Trump coaxed Perdue out of retirement to challenge Kemp
The former senator lost his seat in 2021. Perdue failed to cross the 50% threshold to win reelection outright in November 2020 and was forced into a high-stakes runoff against Democratic nominee Jon Ossoff in January 2021. Perdue's loss — along with that of fellow Republican Kelly Loeffler to Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock — flipped control of the Senate to Democrats and gave Biden a unified Congress to work with.
A month later, Perdue rejected the chance to challenge Warnock this fall, describing his call to skip another Senate run as "a personal decision, not a political one."
However, Perdue threw his hat into the ring in December against one-time friend Kemp, at the behest of a brooding Trump.
Trump talked up Perdue and former football star Herschel Walker, his pick to knock off Warnock in the general election, during a rally in Commerce, Georgia on March 26. Trump also joined Perdue for a 10-minute tele-rally in early May.
Former Vice President Mike Pence endorsed Kemp, directly opposing Trump's pick. Pence argued at a different pep rally Monday that voting for Kemp will "send a deafening message all across America that the Republican Party is the party of the future."
"This race is bigger than me. It's bigger than Brian Kemp," Perdue argued at the tele-rally Monday. "It's about the future of our country."
"Brian Kemp has divided our party and cannot beat Stacy Abrams," he added.