Leaked audio reveals GOP's David Perdue tried to win Senate election by wooing 'anti-Trump' voters
Georgia Republican David Perdue. (Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

David Perdue is banking on former President Donald Trump's endorsement to help him defeat Gov. Brian Kemp in Georgia's Republican primary fight. But the new book “This Will Not Pass” by New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns reveals that in the run-up to his runoff election against Jon Ossoff, Purdue actively sought to convince "anti-Trump" voters to help him win the Senate vote.

It's yet another example of GOP candidates saying one thing about Trump in public - when seeking his blessing - and another behind closed doors as they plot their political careers.

Martin and Burns report that during an hour-long call on Nov. 10, 2020 with National Republican Senatorial Committee donors, the audio of which the two journalists uncovered, Perdue talked of a strategy to win the runoffs in a post-Donald Trump era, according to an excerpt published by the Atlanta Constitution Journal.

"At the time, many senior Republicans wanted Perdue and then-U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler to focus on a message that keeping Republican control of the Senate would counter Democratic control of the White House by Joe Biden. But doing so would have been an acknowledgement that Trump lost the 2020 election, just as he was ramping up his false claims of a 'stolen' vote."

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In the recording, Perdue pushes the “split government” strategy. “And we believe, again, going back to this, not only libertarians, but there are people who voted in an anti-Trump way, voted for Biden and then voted down the list that we think that may come back to us in this plea for split government,” according to the book.

Perdue was walking a political tightrope between acknowledging Trump's defeat at the polls in Georgia and then courting the same anti-Trump voters to bolster his own political aspirations.

“It looks like now may not be able to hold out, we don’t know that, but there are four states that they’re contesting and we’ll just have to see how that plays out," he said during the call. "But we’re assuming that we’re going to be standing out here alone and that means that we have to get the vote out no matter what the outcome of that adjudication is on the recount in two states and some lawsuits and others.”