Former Vice President Mike Pence asked Georgians to vote — and pray — for Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, his family and “everything they’ve endured” while speaking at a rally Tuesday in Cumming, Georgia, just days before Election Day.
Pence stood alongside Kemp, who former President Donald Trump sought to unseat earlier this year in the Republican primary, and praised the incumbent “as one of the most successful conservative governors in the United States.”
“I want to encourage you, if you’re inclined to bow your head and bend your knees from time to time, the next six and a half days would be a good time to do so,” Pence said. “I want to ask you to pray for this wonderful family. Pray for all that they have endured for you to make Georgia more prosperous and safer.
While Trump did everything in his power to see Kemp reject the Republican nomination for a second term, in an act of political revenge following Kemp’s refusal to endorse his lies about voter fraud in Georgia two years ago, Pence made a strong case for Kemp’s re-election. election.
Pence noted his support for Kemp during the contested 2018 GOP primary, saying he was “for Brian Kemp before it was cool,” and praised the governor for promoting the “same agenda” in Georgia that the Trump administration is pursuing for the state.
Asked after his remarks whether Kemp’s victory would provide a “blueprint” for other Republicans going forward, Pence didn’t bite, telling reporters he was “completely focused on 2022” and that Kemp had “taken a deep dive with these people. The situation.”
When Pence was pressed about which candidates he would campaign against, Pence — without naming Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker — said he supported the entire state GOP slate.
“I support the whole ticket here in Georgia, but I’m here for Governor Brian Kemp right now,” Pence said. “We probably haven’t had a greater partner for economic growth, for law and order, or for our values, during our time in the White House.
Pence also repeatedly praised Kemp’s decision to reopen the business during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic in late April 2020.
“Georgia is the first state in America to reopen, and Brian Kemp is leading the way,” Pence said to applause. But the decision, at that time, was panned even by Trump, who told reporters then that he disagreed with the move, saying it came “just too soon” – and told Kemp as much.
In his own speech, Kemp spoke of his decision, saying “Georgians are not going to sit in their basements, losing everything they’ve earned, because of the virus,” and said the move is helping the country’s current economic growth.
Pence also defended Georgia’s new election law, to be passed in 2021, which adds restrictions on ballots, making it more difficult to vote absentee, while also increasing the number of days for early voting. Turnout has been, so far, strong, beating several state records.
Both Kemp and Pence railed against Abrams in their remarks, describing him as too liberal for Georgia and criticizing his support for criminal justice reform measures.
“Talk to your neighbors and friends over your backyard fence, your co-workers, email your family members across the country, tweet if you have to,” Pence deadpanned, as Kemp chuckled behind him. “Tell someone about Brian Kemp.”