Trump-endorsed Republican gubernatorial candidate David Perdue doubled down on a racially charged, last-minute new line of attack aimed at Stacey Abrams, the likely Democratic nominee, in an interview Monday night.
While addressing a crowd on the final day before the Republican primary, Perdue—who polls show trailing Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican who earned Trump’s ire when he refused to help “fix” Joe Biden’s win in the state in 2020—opened up a new line of attack on Abrams, telling the audience that “She said that Georgia is the worst place in the country to live. Hey, she ain’t from here. Let her go back to where she came from. She doesn’t like it here.”
That was in response to Abrams saying at a fundraiser over the weekend that 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,” according to audio published by The Gwinnett Daily Post. Abrams, who later tried to walk back her remarks, added: “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.”
Appearing on a Newsmax show hosted by former Trump administration press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday evening, Perdue continued attacking Abrams, who was born in Wisconsin, grew up in Mississippi, and attended high school and college in Georgia.
“She’s not from here,” Perdue said. “My inclination is to say, ‘Well look, if you don’t like it, go back to where you came from.’”
In his earlier remarks at the campaign stop outside Atlanta, Perdue had also charged Abrams with “demeaning her own race” through a comment she’d made during her 2018 campaign for governor. While discussing jobs in the renewable energy sector, she said then that “people shouldn’t have to go into agriculture or hospitality to make a living in Georgia.”
But Perdue framed her argument this way:
“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.”
On MSNBC Monday night, Abrams demurred when asked about Perdue’s comments.
“Regardless of which Republican it is” who wins that party’s nomination, she said, “I have yet to hear them articulate a plan for the future of Georgia.”