WASHINGTON — At a recent rally, former President Donald Trump suggested that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., run for the Senate.
“Marjorie Taylor Greene, you happen to be here. Would you like to run for the Senate? I will fight like hell for you, I tell you,” Trump said in Waco, Texas, drawing a smattering of cheers from the crowd.
Days later, on Capitol Hill, Greene’s eyes lit up when asked about Trump’s proposition.
“I haven’t talked with him about it, but it was so nice of him to say that at the rally!” she told NBC News.
Asked if it’s something she’d consider, Greene said: “I have no idea. Yeah, I hadn’t thought about it.”
The next Senate race in Georgia will be in 2026, when first-term Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff’s seat comes before voters.
Ossoff had a terse response when asked about the prospect of facing Greene: “Anyone’s free to run. I’ll be ready.”
Greene is a second-term congresswoman who has cultivated a reputation as a right-wing firebrand and promoted conspiracy theories, which she continued to do in a CBS "60 Minutes" interview on Sunday. Greene has also privately signaled interest in being Trump's vice presidential running mate if he's the nominee in 2024.
She represents a safe GOP district in northern Georgia that is effectively out of reach for a Democrat. But winning statewide is a very different task in a state that has trended from red to purple, voting for President Joe Biden in 2020 and electing three Democrats in the last three U.S. Senate races.
Georgia also has a unique system where candidates need to win 50% of the state to be elected — either on the first ballot or in a runoff between the top two finishers.
Some in the GOP believe Greene cannot win statewide in Georgia.
“I think if you put her name on the ballot as a Senate candidate, she would have a hard time getting to 50%,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from neighboring South Carolina, who campaigned unsuccessfully for Georgia’s GOP candidates in 2020 and 2022.
“I would prefer a new model in Georgia,” he laughed. “I’d prefer [Republican Gov. Brian] Kemp run. He’d be my No. 1 choice.”
A Georgia-based Republican strategist said bluntly of a Greene Senate candidacy: “It would mean we lose. Badly. She’s a worse statewide candidate than Herschel Walker.”
Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., who knocked off Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., in 2020 and defeated Trump-picked Republican candidate Herschel Walker in 2022, flashed a grin when asked about Trump boosting Greene.
“He has a history of picking Senate candidates in Georgia,” Warnock said. “See how that went the last time.”
Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., the only House member in Georgia who represents a closely divided district, expressed no opinion about Greene’s being floated for the Senate.
Asked whether he believes she could win statewide, Bishop smiled and said only: “I wouldn’t vote for her.”