Trump backs Kemp in brutal Georgia gov primary
President Trump threw his weight behind Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp over Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in next week's gubernatorial primary runoff, a move that injects the president into the center of an ugly primary battle.
Trump tweeted his endorsement of Kemp Wednesday afternoon, describing him as "tough on crime, strong on the border and illegal immigration," similar language he's used to endorse other GOP candidates this cycle.
There isn't much of an ideological difference between the two GOP candidates, making Trump's endorsement a notable one. It also puts him at odds with current Gov. Nathan Deal, who has backed Cagle.
The final days of the race have been dominated by leaked audio in which Cagle described the primary as a contest to see "who has the biggest gun, who had the biggest truck and who could be the craziest.”
And a new leak showed Cagle calling to "cut poverty in half," a pledge his opponents have seized on to frame him as too dependent on government to fight poverty.
Cagle entered the runoff as the presumed frontrunner after winning 39 percent of the vote in the May primary compared with Kemp's 26 percent. But a recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 poll found the race within the margin of error.
The winner of next Tuesday's primary faces Democrat Stacey Abrams, who had a head start on the general election after finishing well above the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff in her primary in May.