Chaos Continues: GOP Tensions Keep Building as Kemp’s “Fiasco” Senate Appointment Process Spirals Out of Control

November 26, 2019

Georgia Republicans across the state now arguing over “dangerous” Senate choice that hasn’t even been made yet in stark warning sign for GOP going into 2020

ATLANTA — Governor* Brian Kemp is now facing new pressure and fighting from all sides as criticism continues to mount for him over a “dangerous” Senate pick he hasn’t even made yet, even as he tries desperately to salvage his appointment plan with backroom deals and a newly reported disastrous secret meeting with President Donald Trump.

With nearly a month to go before the deadline, even members of Kemp’s own party are now publicly trashing a process that has completely backfired and spiraled out of control. From 11Alive:

“He hasn’t made the appointment, yet Gov. Brian Kemp is already getting second-guessed for his upcoming appointment to fill a U.S. Senate seat…Pressure on the governor is coming from his fellow Republicans, who want the right candidate to fight off the state’s surging Democrats.”

Republican in-fighting has hit new levels as groups jockey for influence while slamming Kemp’s process, or as one Republican activist put it: “This whole thing about appointing a replacement for Isakson has turned into a fiasco.” 

Even ultra-conservative website Breitbart.com has turned on Kemp, attacking his rumored-favored pick of Kelly Loeffler, calling her “A Country Club Republican’” amidst other criticism.

And with the stakes rising, the downsides for Kemp just get worse and worse. Phil Kent at InsiderAdvantage this morning summed it up:

“As the governor continues to bide his time in making an appointment, opponents of Collins and Loeffler are attacking one another– especially on social media. If the governor is going to maintain Republican unity going into 2020, when the president and Perdue are also running for re-election, he must make up his mind soon.” 

Critically for Kemp, his choice comes at a moment when Republican unity could be fraying and Republican operatives are already nervous. Even Kemp supporters like former Rep. Buzz Brockway are struggling to find bright spots for the GOP in a new climate that already spells “2020 trouble for Republicans,” saying, “This person has to unite the Republican party. So it’s very dangerous. And it introduces all sorts of uncertainty into an election that already has a lot of uncertainty.”

With tensions high and Kemp still refusing to announce his pick, Georgia Republicans continue to face a no-win scenario with their party’s governor and base fighting over a vulnerable Senate seat, leaving whoever Kemp chooses at a disadvantage heading into next November. 

“The last thing Georgia Republicans can afford right now is the tension and in-fighting accompanying whatever reckless choice Governor Kemp makes for a highly vulnerable Senate seat,” said Alex Floyd, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “It’s clear that Governor Kemp is now in deep trouble no matter who he chooses, facing attacks from his own party as his ‘fiasco’ of a Senate appointment process keeps spiraling out of control even more than it already has.”

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