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David Perdue caps his campaign for Georgia governor with a racist remark against Stacey Abrams and a Trump tele-rally

Business Insider logo Business Insider 5/24/2022 wrojas@insider.com (Warren Rojas,Taiyler Simone Mitchell)
Former US President Donald Trump at an event May 14 in Austin, Texas. Brandon Bell/Getty Images © Brandon Bell/Getty Images Former US President Donald Trump at an event May 14 in Austin, Texas. Brandon Bell/Getty Images
  • David Perdue took a racist jab at Stacey Abrams at a campaign event Monday night.
  • Perdue, running for governor of Georgia, said Abrams, who is Black, was "demeaning her race."
  • He was responding to her comments at an earlier event pointing out Georgia falling behind other states.

Former Sen. David Perdue closed his campaign for governor of Georgia on Monday with a racist jab at the Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams and a tele-rally with former President Donald Trump.

Perdue, who is white, said at a campaign stop in Dunwoody, Georgia, that Abrams, who is Black, was "demeaning her own race" with comments she made an an earlier event.

"When she told Black farmers, 'You don't need to be on the farm,' and she told Black workers in hospitality and all this, 'You don't need to be' — she is demeaning her own race when it comes to that," Perdue said.

"I am really over this. She should never be considered for material for governor of any state, much less our state — where she hates to live."

"She said that Georgia is the worst place in the country to live," he also said during that rally. "Hey, she ain't from here. Let her go back where she came from if she doesn't like it here."

Abrams moved to Georgia in high school and later served in the state's legislature.

The comments Perdue highlighted came at a fundraising event for Gwinnett County Democrats near Atlanta over the weekend. Abrams said she was "tired of hearing about being the best state in the country to do business when we are the worst state in the country to live."

"When you're No. 48 for mental health, when you're No. 1 for maternal mortality, when you have an incarceration rate that's on the rise and wages that are on the decline, then you are not the No. 1 place to live in the United States," Abrams said.

"But we can get there," she added. "You see, Georgia is capable of greatness. We just need greatness to be in our governor's office."

Trump makes an appearance for Perdue


Video: Perdue responds with racist remark to Abrams' controversial Georgia comment (NBC News)

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Separately, during a tele-rally on Monday, Trump restated his support for the former US senator.

"Our country, I don't think it's ever been in worse shape than it is right now," Trump said, adding that the outcome of Tuesday's primary elections in Georgia was "critical" to restoring the Republican majority in the US Senate. Perdue is one of eight candidates — including Abrams and the incumbent Brian Kemp — running for governor of Georgia.

Trump urged Georgia residents to vote for Perdue because he's "100% MAGA."

"You'll look back in years to come," Trump said in the 11-minute telephone rally. "And you'll say that was a great vote just as I hope you feel that your vote for me was a great vote."

Trump has been trying to oust Kemp and Georgia's secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, since the duo certified Joe Biden's 2020 electoral win.

Kemp and Raffensperger conducted a statewide audit and oversaw recounts of the more than 5 million votes Georgians cast in the 2020 presidential contest, but their refusal to go along with Trump's baseless claims of election fraud relegated them to the disloyal camp. The revengeful single-term president has been hounding them ever since.

Trump claimed Monday that Kemp "allowed the Georgia election to be rigged and to be stolen."

"I don't believe Kemp can do it," he said about the possibility of the sitting governor winning the primary. "He's got too many people in the Republican Party that will refuse to vote."

Perdue has said he wouldn't have certified the 2020 election in Georgia.

Trump coaxed Perdue out of retirement to challenge Kemp

Perdue lost his Senate seat in 2021. He failed to cross the 50% threshold to win reelection outright in November 2020 and was forced into a high-stakes runoff against the Democratic nominee Jon Ossoff in January 2021. Perdue's loss — along with that of his fellow Republican Kelly Loeffler to her Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock — flipped control of the Senate to Democrats and gave Biden a unified Congress to work with.

A month later, Perdue rejected the chance to challenge Warnock this fall, describing his call to skip another Senate run as "a personal decision, not a political one."

Perdue threw his hat into the ring in December against his onetime friend Kemp, however, at the behest of a brooding Trump.

Trump talked up Perdue and the former football star Herschel Walker, his pick to knock off Warnock in the general election, during a rally in Commerce, Georgia, on March 26. Trump also joined Perdue for a 10-minute tele-rally in early May.

Former Vice President Mike Pence endorsed Kemp, directly opposing Trump's pick. Pence argued at a different pep rally Monday that voting for Kemp would "send a deafening message all across America that the Republican Party is the party of the future."

"This race is bigger than me. It's bigger than Brian Kemp," Perdue argued at the tele-rally Monday. "It's about the future of our country."

"Brian Kemp has divided our party," he added, "and cannot beat Stacy Abrams."

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