Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp delivered a stern warning to Republicans — and an implicit rebuke of Donald Trump — in a speech about the country’s political future Saturday.
“This election should be about results, not personalities. It should be about the future of our country, not a race to the bottom,” Kemp said in prepared remarks to students at Washington and Lee University’s Mock Convention — intended to emulate a presidential nominating convention for the party currently not in the White House — in Lexington, Virginia.
“Because if this general election becomes a debate about who can outlast the other 80-year old politician, the American people lose,” Kemp continued, adding that voters are not sold on the GOP’s ability to turn the country around.
Though he didn’t mention the former president by name, Kemp’s comments appeared to be an indictment of Trump’s brash style of politics as he called on Republicans to shift toward a positive, future-oriented approach to win over voters.
“I still believe we must put forward a positive vision for the future to the American people — and I think there is no better place to start than the success of Republican governors across the country,” Kemp said.
Trump, who is under indictment in Fulton County, Georgia for his efforts to challenge the results of the 2020 election, has made his various legal battles a key part of his campaign, painting himself as the victim of a corrupt establishment.
Kemp has publicly pushed back against Trump’s false claims in the past,
writing on social media: “The 2020 election in Georgia was not stolen. For nearly three years now, anyone with evidence of fraud has failed to come forward — under oath — and prove anything in a court of law. Our elections in Georgia are secure, accessible, and fair and will continue to be as long as I am governor.”
But even as he has broken with Trump, Kemp has said he will support the strong favorite for the Republican nomination in the presidential election.