State Watch

Kemp says GOP has to focus on the future to win back White House

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) doubled down Friday on his assertion that it’s time for Republicans to move on from the controversies surrounding the 2020 election.

“It should be such an easy path for us [Republicans] to win the White House back, but … we have to be focused on the future, not something that happened three years ago,” Kemp said at The Gathering, a conservative political conference hosted by radio host Erick Erickson in Atlanta. 

“We do not need to get distracted. We need to focus on beating Joe Biden in 2024,” he added.

Georgia prosecutors indicted Trump and 18 others on a slew of criminal charges this week in a sprawling racketeering case, alleging that the former headed a scheme to overturn the 2020 election in the state.

Kemp said he was interviewed for the investigation and will likely be a witness in the eventual trial. Prosecutors have requested a March 4 date to start a trial — a date some legal experts view as too ambitious — but Kemp said it will likely wait until after the 2024 election.

“We don’t need to be focusing on stupid things that aren’t going to happen before this election. We can deal with that later. After we win,” he said.

The governor drew ire from Trump for declaring that there was no fraud in the 2020 election in Georgia, as Trump has repeatedly claimed. Kemp had supported Trump in the past but has consistently pushed back on those claims.

He said Georgians who are unhappy about the 2020 election loss should focus their efforts on 2024.

“You can believe whatever you want about the 2020 election, that is your right. I understand that; I have no problem with that. But the thing is, that was three years ago,” Kemp said. 

“And if you’re still mad about that, quit complaining about that and sign up to be a poll worker, be a poll watcher, get involved in the process. Door knock, phone call, do something that will help us win in 2024. Complaining is not going to help us.”

Kemp also brushed off rumors that he may run for Senate against Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) in 2026, declining to speculate on his future. He is term-limited after this term, which ends in 2026.

“I’m thinking about the future. And to me, the future is 2024, not 2026,” he said.

The charges against Trump in Fulton County are the culmination of a two-and-a-half year investigation. The former president was charged with 13 criminal counts, the most significant being racketeering, a charge usually reserved for criminal enterprises.

According to prosecutors, Trump and his allies pressured state leaders to overturn election results, set up a system of fake electoral college votes, and a small group stole and broke into election voting machines.

Trump also faces a federal criminal case over his 2020 election efforts, as well as a separate federal case on his handling of classified documents and charges in New York stemming from his 2016 hush money payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels.

Tags 2024 election Brian Kemp Donald Trump Erick Erickson Georgia georgia trial Trump Georgia indictment