Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, joined the GOP campaign trail in Georgia, urging supporters to “crush” the vote for senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler to avoid “another rigged election.”
“Georgia, we need you to not just show up 5 January, not just to win, but to crush it,” said Ms Palin, who was addressing a crowd of supporters in Marietta on Friday.
“We need you to crush it and to send that message, the loudest message that we can, that no, we will not implement at all socialism in America,” she said.
Ms Palin attended her first event of the campaign called the “Save America Tour”, which was organised by the conservative group Club for Growth. She has repeated the claims President Trump has been making of the election being rigged against him.
Before Ms Palin, representative-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene also addressed the crowd and said: “We all know for a fact that Joe Biden did not win Georgia. We know that Georgia re-elected Donald J Trump.”
According to NBC News, when questioned why she was repeating election conspiracy theories that have already been debunked by multiple courts and Georgia’s Republican governor and secretary of state, Ms Greene said: “Those aren’t conspiracies that have been debunked. Those are real things that happened and they haven’t been debunked.”
She also defended her past support of QAnon conspiracy theories, saying: “I’ll never apologise for looking up other information. I have no apology there.”
While the president has filed 50 lawsuits in various states which have failed to prove any widespread rigging so far, Georgia has been the centre of attention for him. Other Republicans have supported his claims.
Naturally, the rigging claim has featured repeatedly on the campaign trail for the January runoff in Georgia where the messaging by Republicans is focused on the idea that Trump supporters shouldn’t let the same thing happen again and come out to vote.
However, while Republican heavyweights are campaigning hard for both candidates, a section of Trump’s supporters have made their resentment against the duo clear, for not doing enough to support the claims of the president. Cries of “fight for Trump” were heard when the pair tried to speak at Mr Trump’s rally in Valdosta. Some Trump allies have gone as far as calling for voters to not vote for them in the January runoff, while the president keeps raising doubt against the voting system.
Georgia’s election is crucial because the result for the two seats is going to decide the balance of power in the Senate. Both Mr Perdue and Mr Loeffler have strong competition from the Democrat nominees Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. President-elect Biden is heading to Georgia on Tuesday to rally support for both of them.
If the Democrats win both these seats in the currently Republican-majority house, the new term will have a 50-50 divide between the two parties, giving vice president-elect Kamala Harris the power to be the tie-breaker.