‘Bloody’, ‘Crazytown’, ‘New Low’: The Damaging 9-Week GOP Runoff Comes to a Head
GEORGIA ANALYST: The mudslinging is the ‘best-case scenario for the Abrams campaign’
After nine long weeks of ugly name-calling, bombshell secret recordings, bare-knuckle debates, and criminal accusations, the Georgia Republican runoff is approaching a merciful end. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Sec. of State Brian Kemp showed the nation just how nasty a Republican primary can get. In addition to the mudslinging, both candidates doubled down on a far-right agenda to the dismay of Georgia’s business community and current Gov. Nathan Deal. Voters won’t forget that in November.
Even though this is a race that we’d all wish we could forget, let’s take one more look at some of the recent outrageous and nasty headlines – with reporters and analysts describing the primary as “bloody,” “crazytown” and a “new low.”
Savannah Morning News Editorial: Cagle-Kemp slink toward election day
Thursday’s debate underscored the voters’ dilemma. The duo embarrassed themselves and the state by spending an hour twisting words and exaggerating sins. They used “lie” and “truth” so often and so haphazardly as to strip the words of their meaning.
…Sadly, the relentless dirty campaigning has done nothing to strengthen the eventual Republican nominee’s candidacy for governor.
If anything, the foolishness has helped the Democratic candidate, Stacey Abrams…
AJC: Torpy at Large: Trump wannabes Cagle and Kemp head to Crazytown
Before the May primary, I called the Republican campaign the “Machismo rodeo,” an act where the five candidates “wrestle to demonstrate who has the least amount of estrogen.”
It was a slate of manly men, to be sure: Two ex-commandos, a former hair salon owner with a Deportation Bus, a triathlete (Cagle) and the drawling dude with a big shotgun and an even bigger pickup truck.
LA Times: Georgia gubernatorial runoff between two GOP hard-liners may come down to who’s the ‘craziest’
Still, many in Atlanta, the bustling, entrepreneurial capital of the new South, have watched aghast as Kemp has played up his gung-ho, country-boy conservatism. A hard-line right governor who caters to white rural voters, they fear, could set the state back socially and economically.
AJC: After GOP governor debate came the real fireworks
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp met for a frosty debate Thursday that revolved around the secret recording and allegations of illegal campaign contributions. But the sparks really flew in the halls outside the Georgia Public Broadcasting studios after the showdown.
Kemp then mocked Cagle for accusing him of “colluding” with media outlets and Clay Tippins, the vanquished GOP candidate who secretly recorded the lieutenant governor.
AJC: Georgia GOP race for governor was Trump-like even before he stepped in
The two men have attacked each other relentlessly.
…Taking more cues from Trump, the two have pet names for each other. Kemp dubs his opponent “Pinocchio” for the fusillade of falsehoods he said are aimed his way. Cagle shakes his head, gravely, when unloading his nickname for his adversary: “Lyin’ Brian.”
Though Georgia voters need not look far for examples of vicious infighting — the 2006 Democratic runoff and 2010 GOP contest come to mind — the spitefulness has some worried this race will set a new low.
Wall Street Journal: In Georgia, Republicans Split Over Primary Runoff
Mudslinging between Casey Cagle and Brian Kemp may make it harder for GOP voters to unite behind winner
…A bitter primary runoff for governor is dividing Georgia’s dominant Republican Party as it prepares to face a well-funded Democratic opponent in the general election.
…The mudslinging is the “best-case scenario for the Abrams campaign,” said Ben Clark, a political-science lecturer at Georgia College & State University who follows state politics. “The longer this goes on, the more bad blood there is, and the greater the risk that GOP voters will feel alienated and just stay home.”
AJC: Cagle’s final runoff ad is brutal attack on Kemp
Candidates usually close out their campaigns with feel-good messages. But the GOP race for governor may be too close to gamble on a sunny message.
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s final ad ratcheted up the brutal back-and-forth with Secretary of State Brian Kemp, highlighting his role in a probe of massage parlors, his investment in a struggling agriculture project in Kentucky and his office’s release of confidential voter information.