“I can assure you I can handle myself. And if they’re brave enough to come out from underneath that keyboard or behind it, we can have a little conversation if they would like to.”
Kemp, speaking to reporters shortly after a vaccine-related event at Grady Memorial, did not blame President Donald Trump for the wrath he’s facing from Republicans, even though the president has stoked the fury by blasting Kemp for refusing to illegally reverse his defeat in Georgia.
“As far as I know, my relationship with the president is fine. I know he’s frustrated, and I’ve disagreed on things with him before,” he said, adding: “Look, at the end of the day, I’ve got to follow the laws and the Constitution and the Constitution of this state.”
Trump has repeatedly vented his outrage at Kemp, and has called him a “clown,” predicted he would lose the 2022 Republican primary and said he was “ashamed” for endorsing him in 2018. At his rally in Valdosta, Trump encouraged U.S. Rep. Doug Collins to run against Kemp in two years.
State elections officials say there is no evidence of systemic irregularities, and courts at every level have tossed out every complaint.
Asked broadly about a potential primary challenge, Kemp said: “I’m ready for any kind of fight that anybody wants to have — Republican primary general election, whatever it is.”
“I’m going to continue to run on my record but I’m also going to look Georgians straight in the eye and say: Look, this is what I told you I was going to do when you elected me. This is what I’ve been doing. And one of those things is placing my hand on the Bible and giving an oath before God to follow the law.”
He urged fellow Trump supporters to lower the temperature.
“If anybody has an issue with something I’ve done, they need to come see me and I’ll talk to them about it. They don’t need to bother my wife or my children or anybody,” Kemp said.
“It’s fine to disagree on policy,” the governor said, adding: “We’re just not going to go down the road of enticing violence — at least here in this state, as long as I’m governor.”