Trump rally in Georgia: President to urge support for Republican incumbents in runoff elections


ATLANTA — President Donald Trump’s first political rally since losing his reelection bid is ostensibly to urge support for the Republican incumbents in Georgia’s two runoffs that will decide which party controls the Senate at the start of Joe Biden’s administration.

But the question remains whether Trump will really try to help his party or use the Saturday night event in Valdosta to amplify his conspiratorial and debunked theories of electoral fraud.

Republicans are worried that if Trump does the latter, their voters will think the system is rigged and decide to sit out the two Jan. 5 races. They want Trump to tell people directly and forcefully to vote.

The president’s aides publicly scoff at the idea he might do anything other than encourage Republicans to back Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler as they try to withstand Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, respectively.

“I believe it’s the start of these two senators crossing the finish line,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on the eve of Trump’s visit. McEnany credited Trump with being his party’s biggest turnout driver, noting that Republicans narrowed House Democrats’ majority while several vulnerable Republican senators survived challenges by comfortable margins.

Trump’s base “is behind him all the way,” she told Fox Business Network. “He is the head of this movement, make no mistake, and that will not be changing.”

But after two pro-Trump lawyers this past week questioned whether voting again is even worth it — in echoes of the president’s baseless accusations of widespread voter fraud — even Vice President Mike Pence betrayed concerns that the Republican coalition could crack under the force of Trump’s grievances.

“I know we’ve all got our doubts about the last election, and I hear some of you saying, ‘Just don’t vote,'” Pence said Friday while campaigning with Perdue in Savannah. “If you don’t vote, they win.”

EMBED >More News Videos

Back to top button