David Perdue denied reports that Donald Trump has given up on his campaign, saying the former president is still fully behind his bid to unseat Gov. Brian Kemp.
“This is another ploy of the left,” Perdue said at the Columbus airport Friday morning. “You know, I think (they) are really trying to discredit President Trump. I can tell you he’s still all-in in this race.”
Perdue’s Columbus appearance was part of a state-wide fly-around tour on the final day of early voting. The former U.S. senator was slated to appear in Macon, Augusta, Savannah and Plainville Friday with former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin offering her endorsement of Perdue in Savannah.
During the Columbus stop, the Republican challenger disputed a report from NBC News that Trump had washed his hands of the Republican primary, seemingly leaving Perdue’s campaign for dead.
The NBC report cites three Republicans who have spoken to the former president and a fourth who is close to Trump. The sources said Trump was upset with Perdue over a “lackluster campaign effort.”
“Donald Trump has worked harder to elect David Perdue than David Perdue,” a Trump adviser told the news organization, noting Trump held two rallies, spent money on TV and paid for digital advertising on Perdue’s behalf.
Perdue said the report was meant to keep his supporters from coming out, something that the “fake news in Washington” really wants.
While Trump will not hold any additional in-person rallies, the former president will hold another tele-rally the day before the election, Perdue said.
“His message is very simple. It’s what it was in Virginia,” Perdue said. “They’ve improved some of the voting laws here. It’s still not perfect, but if you get out and vote, we can overwhelm the system. That is what is he’s going to tell people Monday night.”
Perdue also took issue with recent polling from Fox News that shows Kemp leading him, 60% to 28%. The polls were done in conjunction with Beacon Research and Shaw & Company Research. Pollsters interviewed 1,004 Georgia Republican primary voters who were randomly selected from a statewide voter file. The respondents were screened to identify potential participants in the Republican primary elections.
“If you didn’t vote in 2018, you’re disqualified as a Republican primary voter to any pollster that is gonna poll in Georgia,” he said. ”I’m an engineer. I can do the math. ...Half of the vote that’s in right now, these pollsters have not gotten any information from them. So, those polls have no credibility.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that early voting turnout is nearly three times as high as the last midterm primary in 2018. About 57% of voters so far have cast Republican ballots.
However, the AJC also reported earlier this week that roughly 7% of Georgia voters who had cast GOP ballots so far previously pulled Democratic ballots two years ago.
Cody Hall, a spokesperson for Kemp, told the Ledger-Enquirer that Perdue’s “sad campaign will run out of excuses Tuesday night.”
“Georgia Republicans are uniting around Governor Kemp to make sure Stacey Abrams is never our governor or the next president,” Hall added.
Perdue is one of four Republicans seeking to unseat Kemp in the Republican primary. Other candidates include Catherine Davis, Kandiss Taylor and Tom Williams.