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Post Politics Now Bucking Trump, Pence to rally with Georgia Gov. Kemp this month

Former vice president Mike Pence speaks at a fundraiser for Carolina Pregnancy Center on Thursday, May 5, 2022, in Spartanburg, S.C. Pence will campaign with Georgia's incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp the day before this month's GOP primary in his most significant political beak with former President Donald Trump to date. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard, File)
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Today, former vice president Mike Pence announced that he will hold a rally with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on the eve of the state’s contested May 24 GOP gubernatorial primary. The move puts Pence at odds with former president Donald Trump, who pushed David Perdue, a former U.S. senator, to challenge Kemp, whom Trump has lambasted for not doing enough to overturn the 2020 presidential elections results in Georgia. In a statement, Pence called Kemp “one of the most successful conservative governors in America.”

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We’re also watching fallout from the decision by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol to subpoena five House Republican lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). President Biden, meanwhile, has a full day of events in Washington, focused on both foreign and domestic affairs. His schedule included a meeting with local leaders and law enforcement officials.

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  • 10:45 a.m. Eastern: Biden met with Jordan’s King Abdullah at the White House.
  • 11 a.m. Eastern: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) held an event on the Supreme Court draft decision on Roe v. Wade. Watch it here.
  • 1 p.m. Eastern: White House press secretary Jen Psaki briefed reporters for the last time. Watch here.
  • 3 p.m. Eastern: After meeting with local leaders and law-enforcement officials, Biden delivered remarks in the Rose Garden of the White House. Watch here.
  • 3:30 p.m. Eastern: Biden participated in a summit with leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at the State Department.

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11:45 a.m.
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Matthew Brown: What Pence’s visit signals in Georgia Former vice president Mike Pence’s decision to campaign for Gov. Brian Kemp (R) ahead of Georgia’s May 24 primary is the latest sign that the Peach State is a central battleground in the Republican civil war over Donald Trump’s influence.Pence, himself a former governor, will come down to Georgia on May 23, as Kemp appears on the verge of a rout.Republicans who reject Trump’s hold over the party are rushing to shore up his campaign. Former president George W. Bush will appear at a fundraiser for Kemp, while former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey will also show up for him on the trail.In November, Pence made clear at a meeting of the Republican Governors Association that he’d be “supporting incumbent governors” from primary challengers, a preview to his larger push to thwart Trump’s vendettas.Kemp is a strong bulwark to that end. In Georgia, he’s seen as a committed conservative who has passed a flurry of laws tightening election laws, restricting discussion of systemic racism and history in schools, and allowing for the carrying of firearms without a permit, among other Republican priorities.He’s largely stopped mentioning his Trump-backed challenger, former senator David Perdue, on the trail and instead warns of the coming “fight” against Democrat Stacey Abrams for “the soul of our state.”Perdue, meanwhile, has struggled to convince Georgia Republicans to back his campaign, which is inextricable from Trump’s false election claims. While GOP voters largely believe the election was stolen, they don’t blame Kemp and other Republican incumbents.
Matthew Brown, National correspondent on the democracy team