While on Sunday's "Meet the Press," Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan took the opportunity to bash Donald Trump and voting proposals in his state legislature, with his words also having potential predictions for the future of the Republican Party:
As you mentioned a second ago, there is a lot of solutions in search of a problem. Republicans don't need election reform to win. We need leadership. I think there's millions of Republicans are waking up realizing Donald Trump's tone and strategy is unwinnable in forward-looking elections. We need real leadership and new focus, a GOP 2.0 that includes moderate in the middle to get us to the next election.
The legislation in question includes House Bill 531, which passed the Georgia House earlier this month. Duncan did not directly answer Todd's question as to if he would urge Kemp to veto the legislation but did say:
Governor Kemp and myself have been lockstep in the no-excuse absentee ballot being eliminated. We're gonna work hard in the Senate. I do think there's some calmer tones coming. I do think there's some conversations. Obviously I took a bold step not standing as the presiding officer. It was really the only way I knew to express my disapproval of it because I don't get a 'yes' or 'no' vote. But look, we're going to work hard, and like I said, I hope more people vote in Georgia next election than this previous one.
“House Bill 531 is designed to begin to bring back the confidence of our voters back into our election system,” said Republican Rep. Barry Fleming, the measure’s chief sponsor, according to the Associated Press.
"For those who want to keep hollering about suppression? I’ll tell you something: This is a politicized issue, folks. It’s about keeping people whipped up into a frenzy," said state Rep. Alan Powell (R-Hartwell). "That’s the political game. But it’s time to put it to bed, folks," according to 11Alive.com.
Duncan's comments only got more consequential from there as he doubled down on his opposition to such legislation:
Look, I'm gonna stay focused on doing the right thing. You know this started shortly after the November elections, when all the misinformation started flying out. And quite honestly, it hurts Republicans in any sorts of conversations about election reform. We lost credibility. Those are ten weeks we can't take back. January 6th was a pivot point for this country and this party. We got four years to win back the White House, we are not going to do it with a divisive tone or missing solving big problems for real people. If you're a single mom with three kids working two jobs, you don't care about Democrats or Republicans. You care about real solutions to your problem. That's what we need to be focused on. We are the party of solutions. We need to make sure we stay focused.
Duncan concluded by dismissing any speculation he was running for the U.S. Senate in 2022, against Sen. Raphael Warnock who defeated Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a Kemp appointee, in the January runoff election. Instead, Duncan and his family will "focus hard on rebuilding this party and refocus party 2.0."