“As I said, again, I worked very hard for the president,” Kemp told Fox News on Wednesday. “I think his ideas … will be part of our party for a long time in the future.”
However, Kemp was cautious not to offer his response as an outright endorsement of Trump, instead confirming that he would offer his unqualified support to any “nominee” for the Republican ticket.
“We need to have a big tent,” he said. “I mean, there’s a lot of great ideas out there.”
As for his own relationship with Trump following accusations that Kemp let Democrats steal his state in the 2020 election, Kemp demurred.
“We’re not always going to get along,” he said. “But I think the president deserves a lot of credit—and he’s not going away.”
In late November, Trump said he was “ashamed” that he backed Kemp in 2018 and encouraged loyal Republicans to primary him in the next election.
Just last week, during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Trump reaffirmed his stance, saying his support for Kemp was “an endorsement that hurt us.”
Kemp narrowly won the gubernatorial contest against Democrat activist Stacey Abrams, which saw—at the time—unprecedented amounts of dark money flood the historically red state.
But after losing the race, Abrams’ influence continued to grow. With support from national Democrats, she forced a court-ordered overhaul of the state’s election laws—which Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger foolishly agreed to.
“I endorsed him, he ended up winning the election and he certainly was not very effective for the Republican Party, to put it nicely,” Trump said.
Trump also has criticized Kemp’s refusal to investigate voter fraud in Georgia during the 2020 presidential election.
While the governor maintained he had little legal authority in the matter, critics note that he could have called the state’s GOP-led legislature into a special session to address it.
“I’ve got at least four members that I think are planning on running for president, plus governors and others,” McConnell told Fox News. “There’s no incumbent. Should be a wide open race.”
But when directly asked if he would support Trump again were he to win the nomination, McConnell responded: “The nominee of the party? Absolutely.”