After Botched Roll-Out, GOP Infighting Continues as “Political Mega-Donor” Kelly Loeffler Faces Attacks on All Sides

December 5, 2019

Loeffler officially enters “GOP firestorm” after her appointment as conservatives pounce and Republican leaders give tepid reaction

Atlanta — Despite Governor* Brian Kemp’s appointment of Kelly Loeffler yesterday, rewarding her for her work as a “political mega-donor” by giving her a temporary Senate seat, Georgia Republicans’ infighting appears to be far from over. And attacks are just getting started on Loeffler’s attempts to buy her Senate seat outright using her personal wealth — just like she did to get appointed in the first place.

Even after desperate calls from Kemp allies for unity, the GOP remains fractured. Fox Business host Lou Dobbs spent the night before the announcement threatening that Kemp was “going to tear asunder the Republican Party in Georgia” with his pick, coming after the Republican base already blasted her as “unacceptable,” “the wrong choice” and “disqualified,” Some key conservative groups like Georgia Right-to-Life are already questioning whether they can support her.

Even potential Loeffler backers were decidedly lukewarm on her, expressing “measured” interest in working with her in “apprehensive” statements, while Kemp ally Erick Erickson admitted “the fix was in” for Loeffler’s appointment following her last-minute application and generous contributions to the GOP.

Meanwhile, Loeffler’s candidacy continues to attract scrutiny and criticism in the press. Here’s what they’re saying about political mega-donor Kelly Loeffler’s rocky roll-out:

  • AJC’s Greg Bluestein: “Loeffler’s appointment brings much uncertainty. She’s not widely known, even in political circles, and her stances on the contentious debates that she’d have to tackle in Washington are unclear…even the governor doesn’t know what position the president might take – no small issue since a single tweet could damage, even doom, her campaign.”
  • GPB’s Stephen Fowler: “Loeffler does not have much of an established political footprint outside of her considerable campaign contributions over the years to national Republicans such as Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, local politicians such as former Democratic Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, former Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and checks written to the Georgia Republican Party and Republican National Committee.”
  • 11Alive’s Doug Richards: “If giving lots of money to Republican causes makes you qualified to become Georgia’s next U.S. Senator, then businesswoman Kelly Loeffler is perhaps overqualified.”
  • WABE’s Emma Hurt: “Loeffler herself has faced backlash in the past week from some members of Georgia’s conservative political community for past donations to Mitt Romney and ties to former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who did legal work for the WNBA team that Loeffler co-owns, the Atlanta Dream.”
  • POLITICO: “Some complain that Loeffler is too much of a blank slate and politically untested. Questions abound about [Loeffler’s] positions on key issues and her campaign skills — raising questions about whether she could survive a primary or a general election in a cycle when control of the Senate is at stake.”
  • The Wall Street Journal: “[Loeffler’s] campaign has gotten off to a rocky start because of the tensions between Mr. Kemp…and President Trump.”
  • Axios: “Kemp picks GOP donor Kelly Loeffler to fill Georgia Senate seat, defying Trump.”

“Kelly Loeffler’s roll-out was a self-inflicted disaster for Georgia Republicans who still remain divided when they can least afford to be fighting,” said Alex Floyd, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “Appointing a political mega-donor to the Senate may have been a nice reward for Kelly Loeffler, but it will cost Republicans with voters who are tired of corrupt political insiders using money to buy power and influence.”


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