Trump lies on endorsement record as more of his candidates fight

  • Trump lied about his endorsement record as he tried to boost the prospects of some 2022 picks.
  • Former Sen. David Perdue, whom Trump backs, is struggling to unseat Georgia Governor Brian Kemp.
  • The former president’s endorsements are being watched closely as he weighs a 2024 race.

Former President Trump has falsely suggested he has a “stainless” approval record as some of his hand-picked prospects struggle to gain ground amid hotly contested GOP primaries.

“Remember, you know, my record is spotless,” Trump told The New York Times in an interview published Friday. “The real story should be on the endorsements – not David Perdue’s – and, by the way, no race is over.”

Trump is not specific in his description of his past. Representatives Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina and Jake Ellzey of Texas both won their primaries without his support. Trump also stuck with Roy Moore even as the Alabama judge faced sexual assault and misconduct investigations.

And the current trajectory of some of his endorsements suggests that a handful of other GOP primary losers may soon join them.

Perdue, a former U.S. senator, is the prime example of Trump’s struggle to recruit challengers to incumbent GOP governors that angered the former president. Trump has made no secret of how much he hates Georgia Governor Brian Kemp for refusing to comply with his efforts to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results.

A recent poll shows Kemp has a decisive lead. According to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll from April 10-22, Kemp held a 53% to 27% lead over Perdue among likely GOP primary voters. If Kemp won by such a margin, he would have the potential for a runoff in June.

Trump doubled down on his support for Kemp, a far cry from the way he unceremoniously dumped Rep. Mo Brooks after the Alabama Republican’s U.S. Senate race looked set to end badly.

The former president is gathering in Nebraska tonight with businessman Charles Herbster, whose gubernatorial campaign has been beleaguered by sexual assault allegations. It doesn’t help matters that Trump defied GOP Governor Pete Ricketts by endorsing Herbster.

It’s not all bad news for Trump.

His endorsement of author JD Vance could help propel him to a victory in the Ohio Senate primaries. And back in Georgia, there’s more promising MAGA news on the ballot. Representative Jody Hice is in too close a race to call with Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the latter whom Trump also blames for his election loss. Former Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker, whom Trump pushed to run long before the GOP establishment backed Walker’s campaign, appears to be heading for a fight in Georgia’s U.S. Senate primary.

Trump’s endorsements are being closely watched as a proxy for his grip on the Republican Party and how fair a possible 2024 campaign would be.

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