Trump Did One For Jody Hice Accusing Raffensperger Of "Colluding With Stacey Abrams"
The moment I sense I've accidentally picked up a robocall, I hang up. I don't care who it's from. But I must be an anomaly since robocalls are a thriving business model. Imagine being in Georgia and getting one from Señor Trumpanzee himself! It just happened. This morning Patricia Murphy and Greg Bluestein of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on a crazy, rambling self-indulgent statewide robocall on behalf of fascist Congressman Jody Hice (R), the MAGA candidate running against Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R).
"Hello, this is President Donald J. Trump, hopefully your all time favorite president of all time,” Trump begins.
“Georgia has one of the worst secretary of states in America, and I mean the worst, RINO Brad Raffensperger.”
The former president then accuses Raffensperger of being “perhaps in collusion with Stacey Abrams, I don’t know if that’s possible, but perhaps,” and praises Hice for his commitment to “free, fair and honest elections.”
Hice was a key Member of Congress in Trump’s “Stop the Steal” campaign following his 2020 election loss and is now Trump’s pick to defeat Raffensperger in the GOP primary.
Yesterday, Reuters reported that "Hice has centered his candidacy for the secretary of state's office on amplifying Trump's baseless claims that he actually won the Georgia presidential vote, and by extension the White House, but lost due to widespread voter fraud... A member of the conservative Freedom Caucus in the U.S. House, Hice was at a White House meeting in December 2020 to discuss ways of blocking the certification of the presidential election in Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, according to documents released by the House committee investigating the attack that day on the U.S. Capitol. He voted against certifying Biden's win hours after the riot. The congressman has criticized Raffensperger for measures he took to accommodate voters during the coronavirus pandemic, including mailing absentee ballot applications to all registered voters and installing ballot drop boxes. Multiple audits and recounts have confirmed that Biden won Georgia. Democratic candidates also swept two U.S. Senate seats in the state's January 2021 runoffs, giving the party control of both chambers of Congress. 'Jody Hice has been running around Georgia for the last 18 months lying about our election process,' Raffensperger said at Monday's debate in Atlanta."
Trump has endorsed candidates in other Georgia races, most notably former U.S. Senator David Perdue, who is challenging Republican Governor Brian Kemp. Perdue also has focused much of his campaign on re-litigating the 2020 election, faulting Kemp for not doing more to reverse the results.
Kemp has a substantial lead over Perdue, but Hice and Raffensperger appear locked in a tight race, according to an April opinion poll commissioned by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Hice raised $1.6 million through January, according to campaign finance reports, while Raffensperger took in less than $600,000. The campaigns are due to file updated spending reports this week.
Jay Williams, a Republican strategist in Georgia, said he sees no path for Raffensperger to prevail given his public feud with Trump.
"I've felt for a long time he's toast, and I still think he is," Williams said.
Raffensperger, mindful that many Republican voters have been swayed by Trump's repeated claims of fraud, has made election integrity his top priority. He has called for an investigation into whether hundreds of non-citizens tried to register to vote and endorsed Republican-backed legislation to give law enforcement greater authority to investigate voter fraud.
"He has been very aggressive, reinforcing the idea that he is a meticulous follower of the law," said Chuck Clay, a former state Republican chair and former state senator.
...Two other Republican candidates, former Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle and T.J. Hudson, a former probate and magistrate judge, also are challenging Raffensperger from the right. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the two leading vote-getters would head to a June runoff.