With 16 months to go until the 2022 election, Georgia and national Republicans are going to war with… each other, over the party’s already-chaotic, and still-escalating GOP primary.
At issue is a recent Associated Press report on Trump-backed potential Senate candidate Herschel Walker — coverage that features reporting that Republicans are accusing each other of planting in the press to hurt Walker’s chances in a GOP primary.
Here’s how the intra-GOP conflict has escalated:
- When the AP report was promoted on social media by longtime Mitch McConnell advisor Josh Holmes, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene lashed out at both McConnell and Holmes, accusing McConnell of conspiring to tank Trump’s seemingly-favored potential candidate.
- MSNBC’s Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough reported, “There are a lot of Republicans on Capitol Hill who don’t want Herschel Walker to run […] So, right now, when you see more and more negative things out there about Herschel Walker, that will be coming — most likely — from Republicans who are leaking or who are talking to news sources.”
- Echoing Scarborough, Georgia conservative political commentator Erick Erickson pegged the story as grounded in “opposition research,” saying, “I don’t think this is the Democrats doing this. I think this is Republicans. I fundamentally 100% believe that this is an opposition research drop from Republicans who do not want Herschel Walker to get into the race.”
But even if Mitch McConnell and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (and its chair Rick Scott) were behind pushing the Associated Press coverage to take down Trump’s favored candidate, their move is unlikely to have worked.
Because, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “These sorts of reports exposing more details about [Walker’s] background aren’t likely to factor into his decision.”
That sentiment was reaffirmed by Walker himself last night, which only guarantees an even nastier GOP primary in Georgia in the months ahead.