Sean Hannity tore into Republican Georgia Governor Brian Kemp for disregarding Donald Trump’s wishes in making an appointment to fill a soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat.
The Fox News host joined a Republican pressure campaign against Kemp amid rumors that the governor will nominate a so-called “RINO” (Republican In Name Only) to replace retiring Senator Johnny Isakson (R) over Trump’s favorite, Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), Mediaite reported. Hannity encouraged listeners to his radio show to flood Kemp’s office with complaints.
“I’m told he’s a conservative, but I have no idea what he’s doing,” Hannity said.
Hannity shreds Kemp
The controversy started after reports emerged that Kemp will nominate Republican donor and businesswoman Kelly Loefller to fill Isakson’s vacancy. Isakson is retiring after decades in the Senate because of ongoing health concerns..
The pick is seen as a snub to Trump, who prefers Collins, a fierce defender of the president and ranking member of the Judiciary Committee. Collins, who Hannity called a “rock star,” will play a more prominent role in the impeachment when his panel takes over the proceedings on Wednesday.
“I have no idea what the Republican governor of Georgia is doing,” Hannity said. “[Collins] single-handedly helped spearhead the GOP’s impeachment-coup-resistance with great, great courage and conviction — unlike so many others. I don’t know why the governor of Georgia … Brian Kemp is appointing [someone] who appears to be an untested, big-Republican Romney donor described by many as a ‘RINO’,” Hannity said.
Hannity said that Kemp “barely beat” Democrat Stacey Abrams in 2018 and suggested that he needs Trump’s endorsement to win re-election. In 2018, Kemp bragged in campaign ads about being a “politically incorrect conservative” who would “round up” illegal immigrants in his truck, while Democrats accused him of only beating Abrams because of “voter suppression.”
Trump supporters bash Loeffler
Many of the president’s supporters view Loeffler — a donor to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign — as a “RINO” and a chamber of commerce-style moderate Republican. Critics also point out that Loeffler is on the board of Grady Memorial Hospital — which provides abortions — and she’s an owner of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, which supports Planned Parenthood.
Echoing criticism from the pro-Trump right, Hannity said that he hadn’t seen any indication that Loeffler has “any” relevant experience or even that she’s a conservative.
If picked, Loeffler would serve until a special election in 2020 determines who will finish Isakson’s term. But the controversy is impactfully timed, as the Senate could soon begin an impeachment trial of President Trump. While Trump’s acquittal is considered a safe prospect, the president’s supporters don’t want to take any chances.
Hannity joins the likes of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), another fierce defender of the president, who has been sparring with Kemp’s staff on Twitter, Fox notes. Kemp has called the controversy “absolutely absurd,” adding that he “could care less what the political establishment thinks.”
But Trump is hardly a part of the “political establishment.” It unfortunately doesn’t look like the same can be said of Kemp’s preferred candidate.