Geoff Duncan is taking his ‘GOP 2.0′ pitch national

Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)
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Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan is bringing his post-Donald Trump vision of the Republican party to a hotbed of presidential politics.

Duncan is set to address the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College next week to promote his “GOP 2.0″ book. He plans to soon visit other states to issue his urgent plea for Republicans to “wake up” and move beyond Trump.

In an interview, Duncan said he is excited to visit a state “at the center of the universe for presidential politics and voters who take sniffing out the real deal seriously.”

“it’s really about laying out a plan of attack for how the Republican Party can win for the future. There’s a lot of work to be done, and we need to harness what went well,” he said.

“We have to rebuild our party. The reality is Donald Trump lost. The GOP lost. And we need to make improvements. The additional reality is Joe Biden can’t seem to get anything right. And Republicans can’t miss another layup in the next presidential election.”

Duncan’s book is part memoir, part political treatise and part policy blueprint that describes how he descends into a “bizarre twilight zone” as his party turned against him for denying lies about election fraud and advocating for a post-Trump future.

The lieutenant governor also hopes to parlay his message into a more prominent national role while trying to balance his legislative duties ahead of a special legislative session that begins in November.

He nixed a run for a second term in March to work on his book and build a political organization to promote its ideas.

“Somebody’s got to be willing to make the pitch about the party’s future,” Duncan said. “Policy over politics still matters, and it’s time to put that on display.”

Duncan made clear that he’s still focusing his attention on Georgia, leveling criticism at the former president for a September rally in Perry in which he said he would have preferred if Stacey Abrams defeated Gov. Brian Kemp in 2018.

At a closed-door caucus meeting a few days later, Duncan said he offered to help each GOP senator so long as they pledged to support for Kemp over Abrams. The request earned him an ovation and, Duncan said, underscored his party’s impatience with Trump’s antics.

“You could feel the pivot point among Georgia Republican voters with that comment. It’s ridiculous. The event in Perry wasn’t a political rally. It was a three-ring circus,” said Duncan.

“And that type of circus mentality is going to play out across the country as he tries to make the election all about him and not about the people.”

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