But after being targeted by the former president for nearly a year and a half for failing to overturn Trump’s 2020 election loss to now-President Biden in the key battleground state, Kemp appears to be in a commanding position on the eve of Georgia’s primary.
The White House moved swiftly to clarify President Joe Biden’s comments, but his assertion Monday that the U.S. will militarily defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion attempt may actually pave the way to conflict in the Taiwan Strait.
It’s the second time since October that aides have had to walk back Biden’s comments that appear to reverse the longtime policy of “strategic ambiguity” regarding U.S. willingness to defend Taiwan. “As the President said, our policy has not changed. He reiterated our One China Policy and our commitment to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” a White House official said Monday in a statement. “He also reiterated our commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide Taiwan with the military means to defend itself.
“I think the party’s already uniting,” Kemp said Monday in a Fox News interview.
“That’s one reason why he’s [Perdue] been dropping, and we’ve been surging because people have been realizing that I’m the candidate that can beat Stacey Abrams,” the governor argued, refuting repeated arguments from the former president and Perdue that Trump voters won’t back the governor in November’s general election against Abrams, the Democratic Party rising star and a nationally-known voting rights advocate who’s making her second straight bid for Georgia governor.
He may be down by double digits in the polls, but Perdue remains optimistic, telling Fox News that Kemp’s “definitely vulnerable.”
“Here’s a sitting, incumbent, Republican governor struggling to get to 50%,” Perdue emphasized. “That validates everything I said in December when I got in here.”
Four years ago, with the support of Trump, Kemp narrowly defeated Abrams. But Kemp earned Trump’s ire starting in late 2020, after he certified now-President Biden’s razor-thin victory in Georgia in the presidential election, following two recounts of the vote.
Trump, who had unsuccessfully urged the governor and other top Republican officials in the state to overturn the results, returned to Georgia last autumn and again in late March to campaign against Kemp.
And Perdue has made Kemp’s actions in the 2020 election a leading theme of his campaign, as he’s supported Trump’s constant attempts to re-litigate his election loss. He’s charged numerous times that Kemp “sold us out.”
“The reason I got in here is he’s divided this state. He allowed voter fraud to happen. He denied it happened. He’s covering it up. And now he’s suppressing evidence. And people know that,” Perdue reiterated in his Fox News interview.
I still think this is Biden’s gut instinct reflected in mindless wording, not a policy reversal, but it is needlessly unsettling … if Biden keeps doing this, it could be a ‘big deal’ indeed,” Winston Lord, former U.S. Ambassador to China, told POLITICO in a statement. “We should maintain strategic ambiguity. We can deter Chinese attacks on Taiwan without destroying our ambiguous one-China policy, which has been a core element of our relations with Beijing for a half century.”
The U.S. relationship with Taiwan is spelled out in the U.S.-China Three Communiqués, the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act and the 1982 Six Assurances. The TRA commits the U.S. “to maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan.” None of those documents specifically obligate the U.S. to military intervention to protect Taiwan in the face of a PRC invasion. But the TRA suggests an active U.S. role in maintaining the island’s status quo.