Geoff Duncan’s ‘GOP 2.0′ batters Trump with TV attacks ahead of Georgia rally

November 9, 2021 Atlanta - Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan speaks during a special session debating and voting on redistricting maps in the Senate Chambers during a special session at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on Tuesday, November 9, 2021. The hearing was a step toward votes on new political maps for the state House, state Senate and Congress during a once-a-decade redistricting session of the General Assembly. The Senate plans to vote on new maps Tuesday, and the House Redistricting Committee could advance its proposal as well. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

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November 9, 2021 Atlanta - Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan speaks during a special session debating and voting on redistricting maps in the Senate Chambers during a special session at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on Tuesday, November 9, 2021. The hearing was a step toward votes on new political maps for the state House, state Senate and Congress during a once-a-decade redistricting session of the General Assembly. The Senate plans to vote on new maps Tuesday, and the House Redistricting Committee could advance its proposal as well. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan has a welcoming gift ahead of Donald Trump’s visit to Georgia: A spate of statewide TV ads criticizing Trump and other Republicans who would “rather talk about conspiracy theories and past losses” than the upcoming November vote.

Duncan’s “GOP 2.0″ conservative advocacy group launched the 30-second ad on Monday as Trump prepares to headline a weekend rally for six Georgia Republicans he’s endorsed.

While Trump’s blessing was once the “golden ticket” for Republican politicians in Georgia, Duncan said the former president’s influence is waning. He singled out former U.S. Sen. David Perdue, who is challenging Gov. Brian Kemp with Trump’s support.

“The failed presidency of Joe Biden has taught America the consequences of left-wing policies,” said Duncan. “It’s a mistake Georgia cannot afford under Governor Stacey Abrams, whose likelihood increases each day David Perdue remains in the race.”

A former state legislator, Duncan emerged as one of Trump’s most outspoken GOP critics in late 2020. He frequently denied the former president’s lies about his defeat in Georgia and urged Republicans to chart a post-Trump vision of the party that he outlined in his book, “GOP 2.0.”

Duncan’s stance drew the fury of Trump and a group of senior Republicans still loyal to him. After Duncan decided not to stand for another election, Trump backed state Sen. Burt Jones over Butch Miller, a Senate GOP leader with closer ties to the lieutenant governor.

The TV ad is the most aggressive step yet from Duncan’s “GOP 2.0″ group, which aims to refocus the party on conservative policies rather than pro-Trump ideology. The six-figure buy will run in cable, broadcast and digital in markets across the state.

It features Duncan, a former minor league baseball pitcher, with ominous warnings about rising inflation and illegal immigration. After flashing to images of Abrams, Perdue and Trump, it ends with Duncan in a baseball dugout insisting that “a conservative vision is needed now more than ever.”

Watch it here:

Transcript:

“Inflation at a 40-year high. Open borders. National security threats. But some politicians would rather talk about conspiracy theories and past losses. Letting liberal extremists take us in the wrong direction – a mistake our country simply can’t afford.

“We must focus on the future and rebuild our party. But I am not alone in believing there is a better way forward. A conservative vision is needed now more than ever. It’s time for GOP 2.0.”