Former Sen. David Perdue’s entry into the Georgia governor’s race against incumbent Brian Kemp is a “disaster” for the Republican Party that will likely lead to the election of Democrat Stacey Abrams, says a veteran GOP strategist.
And the strategist, Scott Reed, blames the development on one man: Donald Trump.
“What did [Trump] say a month ago? He thinks Stacey Abrams would be a better governor than Kemp. Well, guess what? He may get what he wanted,” said Reed in an interview on the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery.”
“Because by getting Perdue in this race, you’re going to split the party,” he added. “It will be a circus — worse than it was in January when we lost those two Senate seats. ... It’s a disaster. I’m shocked Perdue is doing this. He’s being used by Trump. And we could lose a governorship.”
Perdue announced his run this week and was immediately endorsed by Trump, who praised him as a “conservative fighter” who will push to “secure the elections” — a reference to Kemp’s failure to endorse the ex-president’s claims of election fraud in the state. As if to underscore Reed’s comments, a new poll shows Georgia Republican voters split down the middle on the race, which offers some encouragement to Democrats.
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Reed has for years been among the most prominent of Republican consultants, a longtime party operative who managed the late Sen. Bob Dole’s race for president in 1996 against Bill Clinton. Like many who have spoken about Dole’s legacy this week, he praised the former senator as a figure who consistently pushed to enact major legislation — from food stamps to the American Disabilities Act — by forging compromises with Democrats.
He also bemoaned the impact of Trump, who he says is “fading in the rearview mirror” even while he still holds sway over the Republican base, including in states like Georgia and Arizona. Reed held out hope for the party in 2024, saying he doesn’t believe either Trump or Biden will run again.
But he made a bold prediction for the Democrats: Biden will tap Vice President Kamala Harris — who has been plagued by staff upheaval and a lack of a clearly defined mission — for the Supreme Court next year assuming, as many predict, Justice Stephen Breyer retires.
“There’s no role for her” as vice president, Reed said, and Biden “can no longer salvage her ... and they’re going to have to move her out.”