Governor Kemp Talks Election Law, Braves in World Series

27 Oct 2021

BUCK: We are very pleased to be joined right now by Governor Brian Kemp of the great state of Georgia. Governor, thanks for making some time for us today.

GOV. KEMP: Hi, guys.

BUCK: So, sir, first off, I just want to know, there are a lot of people when they think about Georgia these days, it was right at the center of a lot of obviously election questions and people calling for recounts and the Senate races, the presidential race.

For anybody who has concerns about election integrity right now in the state of Georgia, especially as we’re going into this midterm election year soon, what should they know? What can you tell ’em that will make them confident — or are you confident, may be a better way to ask the question — that elections in the state of Georgia are secure?

GOV. KEMP: Well, I believe it’s easy to vote and hard to cheat here in the state of Georgia. That’s always what I’ve worked toward in nine years as secretary of state and certainly as governor. I think our Elections Integrity Act last year addressed a lot of the mechanical issues that we saw in the 2020 election.

Working with county elections officials and a lot of other people to implement that policy or that new law has really helped the confidence. We want all voters, doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you’re on, to have confidence in the elections. And we have elections going on right now. Nobody’s complaining about anybody being disenfranchised or suppressed or anything else.

Which we knew they would not be, but I do think people have much more confidence now ’cause of doing very common sense things like tying the voter ID requirement to absentee ballots by mail, securing drop boxes and other things. But we’ve also given the ability for people to vote further on the weekends here in Georgia even on Sunday.

BUCK: And so for anybody who is hearing the Democrat lines on this, I mean, Joe Biden — the sitting president, Governor — has gone so far as to refer to some of these election integrity measures and as you said even in some cases Georgia has expanded voting, made it easier to vote, put in place provisions so that there’s greater convenience. What’s your response to President Biden saying it’s “Jim Crow 2.0”?

GOV. KEMP: (chuckles) Well, he’s the lying to people. He obviously didn’t know what was in the bill when whoever it was got him to come out and say that. It’s almost as though they used him as a political pawn. He’s using his own Justice Department by suing us over the Elections Integrity Act right now as a political tool when his own state of Delaware is much more restrictive than we are here in the state of Georgia.

It’s really the height of hypocrisy. It’s the height of federal overreach. And quite honestly guys, the Democrats have overplayed their hand on this, just like Major League Baseball did. They made a political decision to move the All-Star Game because they were getting pressure. They folded to that pressure — and unlike myself, I have not folded to the pressure from them or anyone else.

In fact, we have fought back even harder to make sure people know what the truth is in Georgia, and it is that we want to have secure locations, but we also want them to be accessible too. But you have to understand there’s a lot of people that are lining their pockets by continuing to spread this falsehood that’s out there.

CLAY: Governor, I’m down right now in Houston. I watched the Braves win last night to take a 1-0 World Series lead. I’m sure you were watching that as well. How excited are you for the Braves to be back in Atlanta on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, as you just mentioned, in the same year that Rob Manfred said you can’t host the All-Star Game and yanked it to put it to Colorado? What’s the vibe and the excitement level going to do in Truist Park on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and how much of karmic justice is the Braves making the World Series and being able to host games there?

GOV. KEMP: Well, it’s poetic justice for sure, and I think looking back to the All-Star Game decision to moving it to Colorado, they, too, in many ways are more restrictive than Georgia is when it comes to access and to citizens having the opportunity to go vote. That’s a whole ‘nother story. But look, this was a great National League championship series win by the Braves.

It’s a great win by the players, organization, certainly the fans. But it is also a great win for small business owners, many who are minority based in the city of Atlanta and then up and around Truist Park. It’s gonna be a great economic boon for us. It’s gratifying ’cause those people are deserving. They got screwed with the All-Star Game getting moved. People are still furious about that.

But I think the focus is on rallying around the team and winning a world championship. It’s gonna be an awesome environment. It has been all year at the stadium. We’ve been open 100% capacity, fans in the Battery during the game, watching it on TV when they couldn’t get in the stadium. It’s just gonna be an electric atmosphere here, and I keep telling people we need to close out the year with a Braves world championship and then open the year with the Bulldogs national championship.

CLAY: That would certainly be wildly popular. We’re talking to Governor Brian Kemp from Georgia. Governor, when you hear…? I want to circle back around on this question surrounding election integrity. The Democrats have been pounding the idea of election integrity. But their patron saint right now is Stacey Abrams, who you beat by 50,000 votes, if I’m not mistaken, in 2018.

She has never conceded to you. We got a hot election right now going on in Virginia, and Terry McAuliffe came out again and said basically you didn’t win your election. How is it that Democrats can say, “Republicans don’t honor elections,” but they continue to spread the fiction, the lie that you didn’t win in 2018. And am I correct that Stacey Abrams has never conceded, yet she’s become a hero of the left?

GOV. KEMP: Yeah. Well, that’s what they do. Look, this is, again, the state of hypocrisy that they’re living in, and they don’t care about the truth. They just care about the message that’s out there. That’s what you’re seeing in Virginia right now. They’re trying to rally the base because they have a candidate in Terry McAuliffe that goes out there and says parents shouldn’t be making decisions on behalf of their children that are in school, which is just ludicrous.

So they’re pulling out every stop in the book with Obama, Stacey Abrams. Even President Biden was up there the other day. But that’s what they do. And look. Stacey Abrams is lining her pockets through this narrative that’s out there all over the country. It shouldn’t just concern us here in Georgia. It should concern people all over the country, ’cause she’s gonna be doing these same type things in your state.

And they’re gonna be using these same tactics to use the Justice Department to sue other states and to come after us because we simply want to have secure elections. And the whole idea that they’re not accessible is absolutely ridiculous. And you just look back to the 2018 governor’s race. We had the largest African-American turnout in that cycle in the state of Georgia, and you never hear them talking about that.

I was the secretary of state that helped create online voter registration where people can register to vote 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and many other things to my point of making it easy to vote but hard to cheat. And you had Georgia-based companies that came out with statements after we passed our bill saying, “Look, we support secure, accessible elections,” and they were getting boycotted because they didn’t go far enough for the left.

That’s the crazy world that we’re living in now. In the past, a lot of Republicans have relented and folded up and cut some sort of deal to try to end the controversy. I’ve been dealing with this crowd and fighting these lawsuits with Stacey Abrams and her folks since 2013-2014.  So I know how they do it.  They’re gonna continue this.

You gotta fight ’em every step of the way, and that’s what we’re doing, and we’re gonna win in court.  I’m convinced of that.  Our bill is a good bill.  It’s constitutional.  And, you know, we’re having elections right now in Georgia, and nobody’s howling about suppression.

BUCK:  Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia.  Governor, really appreciate your time today, sir.  Thanks for being with us.

GOV. KEMP:  Hey, thanks.  Go Braves!  Go Dawgs!

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