North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer was asked recently by CNN about former Sen. David Perdue’s embrace of election denialism in his run for Georgia governor.
“I don’t know whether he believes it or not. I really don’t,” Cramer said. “But I’m sure it’s a political strategy.”
Consider that for a minute.
A US senator is saying that he isn’t sure whether a former US senator believes the false claims that the 2020 election was stolen (it wasn’t).
But what he is sure of is that Perdue has embraced the unfounded notion of election fraud as a political strategy.
Which tells you a whole lot about what Republicans think they need to say and do to win elections in this moment.
Donald Trump has made believing his election lies a litmus test for his support.
In places like Georgia, it appears as though that is the only reason Trump is supporting Perdue over Gov. Brian Kemp in the GOP primary. (Kemp refused to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia – even under considerable pressure from Trump.)
And the truth of it all, as laid plain by Cramer, is that it’s not at all clear to Perdue’s former colleagues that he even believes what he is saying about the 2020 election.
Judging from what we know of Perdue, that would make some sense, as he was first elected to the Senate in 2014 as a business-oriented conservative.
While he was not in the Senate on January 6, 2021, Perdue has said he would not have certified Georgia’s 2020 election results had he been governor.
The Point: The “big lie” has become an essential part of any candidate’s efforts to win over Trump and the Republican base. Which is a scary thing.