Georgia primaries deliver blow to Trump’s grip on Republican party – live | US news

Kemp victory terminal for former president’s ‘vendetta tour’

It was supposed to be the moment of Donald Trump’s triumphant revenge over Georgia’s governor Brian Kemp and the other RINOs (Republicans in name only) he excoriated for rebuffing his big lie of a stolen presidential election.

But as his chosen candidates fell one by one in Tuesday’s primary elections, a new reality was dawning over the former president: the total control the self-appointed kingmaker believed he still wielded over the Republican party is no longer intact.

Reaction to last night’s events was coming in on Wednesday, although, notably, nothing yet from the former president himself, who put his reputation and – for once his money – behind former senator David Perdue’s doomed attempt to unseat Kemp.

But others had plenty to say.

Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor who was among a number of senior Republicans, including ex-vice president Mike Pence, to back Kemp, celebrated the demise of Trump’s “vendetta tour” in a tweet.

Enormous win tonight for @BrianKempGA. I am so proud of and happy for my friend—and just as importantly for the Georgia GOP and the people of Georgia. They were not going to kick out a great Governor or be willing participants in the DJT Vendetta Tour.

— Chris Christie (@GovChristie) May 25, 2022

Kemp goes on to face Democrat Stacy Abrams – who won her party’s primary Tuesday unopposed in November in a rematch of their 2018 battle, which Kemp won narrowly.

Georgia’s secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, who memorably denied Trump’s request that he “find” votes in 2020, secured the Republican nomination for re-election against the Trump-backed congressman Jody Hice.

The state’s Republican party was quick to celebrate:

And Georgia’s Republican attorney general Chris Carr beat back a challenge from John Gordon, who made Trump’s stolen election myth a central plank of his campaign.

Not all Trump-aligned candidates in Georgia fell: his pick for Senate, former NFL star Herschel Walker, cruised home. And congresswoman Marjory Taylor Greene won her race at a canter.

But Republican leaders will worry that Walker, who has a history of domestic violence, is the wrong candidate to be taking on Democratic senator Raphael Warnock in the fall. And that Greene’s extremism will turn off independent voters.

My colleague Lauren Gambino has this look at how Trump’s chosen candidates went down, and how Kemp’s victory marks a “resounding setback” for the former president’s quest to punish those who dared to cross him:

Martin Pengelly

Martin Pengelly

People who take part in insurrections against the US government can be barred from office, an appeals court said on Tuesday, reversing a ruling in favor of Madison Cawthorn, an extremist Republican politician from North Carolina.

Hailing a “major victory”, Free Speech For People, the group which brought the case, said: “This ruling cements the growing judicial consensus that the 1872 Amnesty Act does not shield the insurrectionists of 6 January 2021 – including Donald Trump – from the consequences of their actions.”

Madison Cawthorn.
Madison Cawthorn. Photograph: Octavio Jones/Reuters

Cawthorn lost a primary this month and will not return to Congress in November. But Free Speech For People pursued an appeal.

It also brought cases against Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, two Arizona Republicans, Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs, and an Arizona state representative, Mark Finchem. All have been unsuccessful.

The challenges cited the the 14th amendment to the US constitution, passed after the civil war.

It says: “No person shall … hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath … to support the constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

Cawthorn and the other Republicans were closely tied to events around the deadly January 6 attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters seeking to stop certification of Joe Biden’s election victory. They have denied knowledge of plans for violence.

Read the full story:

Approval of supreme court plummets over abortion rights

Public approval of the supreme court has dropped sharply following the leak of a draft opinion that would overturn the Roe v Wade decision guaranteeing abortion rights nationwide, according to a new poll.

Disapproval of the nation’s highest court was especially pronounced among the roughly two-thirds of US adults who oppose overturning Roe, the Associated Press says, while support for the court was high among those in favor, according to the Marquette Law School poll, which also found increased partisan polarization in approval.

Approval fell to 44%, with 55% disapproving of how the court is handling its job, the sample of more than 1,000 adults between 9 and 19 May found.

In March, 54% approved and 45% disapproved, itself a massive drop from the 66% approval the panel enjoyed in September 2020, the month that long-serving justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died.

Approval was fairly steady among Republicans from March to May this year, but fell sharply among Democrats and slightly among independents.

New Marquette Law School national poll finds overall approval of US Supreme Court has dropped 10 percentage points since March, from 54% to 44%, and disapproval has gone up from 45% to 55%. #mulawpoll

— MULawPoll (@MULawPoll) May 25, 2022

David Smith

David Smith

Donald Trump’s big lie lost bigly in Georgia on Tuesday night. Some might take this as proof that his spell over the Republican party has finally been broken, but that is what the Republican party wants people to believe.

The former president had been waging a personal vendetta against Georgia’s governor Brian Kemp and secretary of state Brad Raffensperger for failing to overturn the 2020 presidential election in his favor.

Trump handpicked former senator David Perdue and congressman Jody Hice to challenge Kemp and Raffensperger in the Republican primaries. Both parroted the big lie and both were soundly beaten. It was a tangible sign that even many Trump voters are now weary of “stop the steal” and eager to look forward. It was also a blow to Trump in a primary season where his scattergun endorsements have come up with a decidedly mixed win-loss record.

But studying Trump’s recent record as kingmaker misses the point. In fact, it actively helps Republicans create the illusion that they have moved on from “Make America great again” (Maga) even as they continue to push its radical rightwing agenda.

Glenn Youngkin.
Glenn Youngkin. Photograph: Kendall Warner/AP

It all began with Glenn Youngkin, who last year won election as governor of Virginia as a Trump-lite Republican. He never campaigned alongside the ex-president but also took pains to avoid criticizing him and alienating his base. “Don’t insult Donald Trump but do everything to keep him away,” was how columnist Peggy Noonan put it in the Wall Street Journal.

Youngkin projected the image of a safe, sane, old school Republican who could win back suburban and independent voters. But he went Maga by pushing hot button issues such as coronavirus mask mandates, transgender bathrooms and “critical race theory” and portraying his opponent as a “woke” liberal. He flirted with, but did not embrace, Trump’s false claims of a stolen election.

The formula has been emulated in various ways by candidates facing extreme Trump-backed challengers. It worked for Brad Little, the governor of Idaho, and now for Kemp in Georgia. Neither should be mistaken for “NeverTrumpers” in the mould of Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger or Larry Hogan.

Read the full story:

Liz Cheney, the Republican vice chair of the 6 January House panel investigating Donald Trump’s insurrection, has Covid-19.

The Wyoming congresswoman and Republican party pariah made the announcement in a tweet that said she was fully vaccinated and boosted, and following federal guidelines.

She said she received a positive test this morning, and was “experiencing mild symptoms”.

If Brian Kemp’s obliteration of David Perdue’s challenge wasn’t bad enough for Donald Trump, the failure of the former president’s pick Jody Hice to topple Georgia’s secretary of state Brad Raffensperger might have stung even more.

Raffensperger was, of course, the recipient of Trump’s infamous call following the 2020 election asking him to “find” the votes he needed to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the state, which is now the subject of a criminal probe.

Brad Raffensperger.
Brad Raffensperger. Photograph: Ben Gray/AP

The refusal of Georgia’s Republican officials to bend to Trump’s will resulted in his furious campaign of vengeance, which fell flat on Tuesday when voters soundly rejected the “big lie” candidates he wanted to install.

Raffensperger’s victory wasn’t as sizeable as Kemp’s, but he still achieved more than 50% of the vote, enough to avoid a run-off and win him the Republican nomination outright.

Brad Raffensperger found the votes.

— Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald) May 25, 2022

My colleague Sam Levine has taken a look at Raffensperger’s victory and how it was, arguably, the biggest blow yet to Trump’s efforts to install compliant officials in positions of authority:

Kemp victory terminal for former president’s ‘vendetta tour’

It was supposed to be the moment of Donald Trump’s triumphant revenge over Georgia’s governor Brian Kemp and the other RINOs (Republicans in name only) he excoriated for rebuffing his big lie of a stolen presidential election.

But as his chosen candidates fell one by one in Tuesday’s primary elections, a new reality was dawning over the former president: the total control the self-appointed kingmaker believed he still wielded over the Republican party is no longer intact.

Reaction to last night’s events was coming in on Wednesday, although, notably, nothing yet from the former president himself, who put his reputation and – for once his money – behind former senator David Perdue’s doomed attempt to unseat Kemp.

But others had plenty to say.

Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor who was among a number of senior Republicans, including ex-vice president Mike Pence, to back Kemp, celebrated the demise of Trump’s “vendetta tour” in a tweet.

Enormous win tonight for @BrianKempGA. I am so proud of and happy for my friend—and just as importantly for the Georgia GOP and the people of Georgia. They were not going to kick out a great Governor or be willing participants in the DJT Vendetta Tour.

— Chris Christie (@GovChristie) May 25, 2022

Kemp goes on to face Democrat Stacy Abrams – who won her party’s primary Tuesday unopposed in November in a rematch of their 2018 battle, which Kemp won narrowly.

Georgia’s secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, who memorably denied Trump’s request that he “find” votes in 2020, secured the Republican nomination for re-election against the Trump-backed congressman Jody Hice.

The state’s Republican party was quick to celebrate:

And Georgia’s Republican attorney general Chris Carr beat back a challenge from John Gordon, who made Trump’s stolen election myth a central plank of his campaign.

Not all Trump-aligned candidates in Georgia fell: his pick for Senate, former NFL star Herschel Walker, cruised home. And congresswoman Marjory Taylor Greene won her race at a canter.

But Republican leaders will worry that Walker, who has a history of domestic violence, is the wrong candidate to be taking on Democratic senator Raphael Warnock in the fall. And that Greene’s extremism will turn off independent voters.

My colleague Lauren Gambino has this look at how Trump’s chosen candidates went down, and how Kemp’s victory marks a “resounding setback” for the former president’s quest to punish those who dared to cross him:

Good morning and welcome to the midweek edition of the US politics blog.

Donald Trump is facing a cold new reality this morning: the total power he thought he still held over the Republican party is no longer a thing.

Resounding defeats for his “big lie” candidates David Perdue, Jody Hice and John Gordon in Tuesday’s primaries in Georgia were a stunning rebuke for what critics have called Trump’s “vendetta tour” – his plan to take out the state’s top officials who rebuffed his efforts to overturn his defeat by Joe Biden.

Former senator Perdue was trounced by incumbent governor Brian Kemp, Hice failed to topple secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, and Gordon fell to attorney general Chris Carr.

It wasn’t a total blowout for Trump-aligned candidates in Georgia: his pick for Senate, former NFL star Herschel Walker, cruised home. And congresswoman Marjory Taylor Greene won her race at a canter.

But that in itself is alarming Republican leaders, who worry that Walker, who has a history of domestic violence, is the wrong candidate to be taking on Democratic senator Raphael Warnock in the fall, and that Greene’s extremism will turn off independent voters.

  • In Alabama, Republican congressman Mo Brooks lost Trump’s endorsement, but won enough votes to reach a run-off to hold on to his seat.
  • In Texas, attorney general Ken Paxton, who spoke at Trump’s 6 January Washington rally that preceded the Capitol insurrection, saw off a challenge from George P Bush, grandson of former president George HW Bush.
  • And the only anti-abortion Democrat in the House, Henry Cuellar, has declared victory over progressive challenger Jessica Cisneros in their Texas district.

We’ll have lots more reaction coming up to the primary elections in Georgia and other states that voted Tuesday, so please stay with us.

Leave a Comment