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Georgia’s Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan believes the GOP is at a crossroads ahead of the 2022 midterms. And he says Republican voters need to choose between believing in disproven election fraud conspiracy theories and forging ahead with new leadership that will push the party toward a better place.
GEOFF DUNCAN: We're at a crossroads. And we're either going to placate and play populism 101 and try to live in 10 seconds at a time, or we're going to put genuine leadership on display. I don't think Tucker Carlson or Ted Cruz are the leaders of our party. Really, I think it would take us in the wrong direction. It's time to turn the page. It's time to move on.
I'm Geoff Duncan. I'm the Lieutenant Governor of Georgia. We're going to be the proving ground for who's right. Is it this Trumpian strategy of talking about the 2020 election and trying to rehash fake, false narratives, or is it going to be about projecting a pathway forward and showing what genuine leadership looks like? And that's going to play out here in the coming months here in Georgia.
DONALD TRUMP: I'm the President of the United States. They just rigged an election. Hundreds of thousands of votes in different states-- they just rigged an election. We got a number of votes that-- I think you'll agree-- no sitting president has ever gotten a number of votes that I got. No sitting president--
- A lot of votes-- that's true.
DONALD TRUMP: --has ever gotten--
- A lot of-- you--
DONALD TRUMP: No sitting president-- do you-- nobody believes. Do you think Biden got 80 million votes?
- It's true--
DONALD TRUMP: Because I don't believe it.
GEOFF DUNCAN: When you have a sitting president willing to lie to America and to their party about what the true realities of the election were, and willing to stoke the fire and send out incredibly hateful tweets and cause all types of disruptions, including January 6, to play out, then of course it's going to take some time to unwind those comments and that kind of ideology. That's what GOP 2.0 is in the process of trying to unwind that damage, and really try to put a safe place to call home for folks like me that are fired up conservatives. I believe in the conservative principles from start to finish. I just don't think I got to be angry when I do it.
We forgot to be more inclusive and grow the size of the tent, and we forgot to have an encouraging tone. That's our fault. That's not some sort of election fraud. That's our fault as a party.
Our elections were very narrow leading up to this. In 2018, when we were all on the ballot, it was very, very razor-thin margins, but it was a Republican state. Then we watch that, in 2020, flip in some of those elections. We've got our work cut out for us and we're just making it harder.
JOE BIDEN: But as an institutionalist, I believe the threat to our democracy is so grave that we must find a way to pass these voting rights bills. Debate them. Vote. Let the majority prevail. And if that bare minimum is blocked, we have no option but to change the Senate rules, including getting rid of the filibuster for this.
GEOFF DUNCAN: Hopefully this doesn't get translated as being a partisan statement, but Joe Biden's been terrible. Even folks that I know that are on the left, that voted for him, campaigned for him, are scratching their head trying to figure out where he's going most days with these decisions, right?
We've got a pandemic that's raging, that seems to just be a battle of words, and confusing. And we've got economic issues that-- nobody can really figure out what's going on with inflation. And look, from a Republican standpoint, I don't want to miss another layup, right? He's not putting on good leadership. That should give us access to be able to convince the folks in the middle, and around the middle, to come our way and vote for a Republican in '24. If we keep screaming at each other and keep calling people names and keep misrepresenting the 2020 election, we're going to hand the keys to either Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, or somebody else.
I love the job of Lieutenant Governor, but I can't have a conversation with America if I'm trying to run for reelection in just Georgia. And so stepping away from the role and not running again gives me the ability to have that conversation with America. Plus I think so many people wake up now, on both sides of the aisle, and think America's best days are behind us. That's not true. This is America our best days are in front of us. I certainly hope that's the case for my three kids.