Governor Brian Kemp presented his budget to state legislators by Zoom on Tuesday; Kemp explained that he was at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“I just want to apologize for not being there in person, that had been my intention,” Kemp said. “But this is just a great opportunity for me to be out here to share Georgia’s success story with people from around the world, because I believe they can certainly learn a thing or two from us.”
“Others can benefit from hearing about our conservative principles and our approach to both budgeting and job creation to take the path that we’ve been on in our state,” he said.
Kemp’s proposal kicked off the budget week, a series of presentations to money legislators focusing on Georgia’s fiscal condition and policy.
In Davos, Kemp participated in a panel called “America (Un)Bound,” focused on what to expect from the U.S. after the recent elections. World Economic Forum President Børge Brende spoke with panelists, including Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and Senators Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Chris Coons (D-DE).
“We know you well,” Brende told Kemp. “We’ve seen you a lot on TV all over the world. During the last elections, you were very clear on some principles. You were reelected on a broad majority.”
“Of course there has been some reflections of why the Republicans didn’t do better in the House election,” Brende asked.
“A lot of the candidates that were election deniers were not elected,” he said. “Any reflections on that– because of your own background too, because you came under some pressure, but you didn’t really give in on that, did you?”
Kemp said, “I wouldn’t want to try to speculate on, you know, every member, every Republican candidate for Congress or the United States Senate outside what we saw in Georgia.”
“I think the people of the state that I represent, which is a great one, look, they want to know the differences between the candidates, but they also want to know what we’re for. What are they going to get the next four years? And that’s something that we just stayed focused on,” he said.
Kemp highlighted Georgia’s strong economic performance in the past two years, teacher pay raises, school security, and health care waivers. He also highlighted his policies on opening Georgia during the early days of COVID-19 and on getting children back in school.
“We had innovative solutions that are lowering private sector costs and bringing more access to people, really pushing back to the one-size-fits-all narrative that my opponent has been driving for literally six years now. And I think people bought into that,” he said.
Brende asked Kemp if he thought partisanship is too strong in America. Kemp said he was frustrated with decisions made in Washington D.C. including choices that seemed to favor New York and California, failure to secure the U.S.’ borders, the fentanyl crisis, and the human trafficking crisis.
Kemp said, “Those are the issues that we’re trying to tackle at the state level. But I believe much could be solved, and I think there will be broad bipartisan support for, in the meantime while you’re working on these things, to secure the dang border.”
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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Georgia Star News and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].