A woman casts her ballot during early voting, Oct., 26, 2010, in Atlanta, Ga.
David Goldman/AP

In secret recording, GOP candidate made candid comments about party primaries

In Georgia’s Republican gubernatorial primary in May, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R) came out on top, but he fell short of the 50% threshold, and he still has to win a runoff to advance to the general election.

That’s proving to be a little more difficult than the lieutenant governor probably planned. Cagle had a candid private conversation with one of his rivals, Clay Tippins, two days after the initial primary, not realizing that their chat was being recorded. (Cagle was hoping to secure Tippins’ endorsement at the time.)

And what a recording it is. We learned a month ago, for example, that Cagle admitted to Tippins that he deliberately supported “bad public policy” as part of a scheme to hurt a different rival candidate. Yesterday, a new revelation from the recording emerged, and this one may be even more politically damaging.

Cagle can be heard candidly discussing the GOP primary’s sharp turn to the right, saying the five-man race came down to “who had the biggest gun, who had the biggest truck and who could be the craziest.” […]

“The issues you talk about are the issues I care about as well. The problem is in a primary – and you and I are just talking off the record, frank – they don’t give a (expletive) about those things, OK. In the general election, they care about it, OK. But they don’t care about it in a primary.” Cagle says in the newly released snippet.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp, Cagle’s rival in the runoff primary, said in a statement to the Associated Press that the newly released recording “exposes Cagle’s real opinion of Republican voters in Georgia.”

All of which leads to a related question: is there anything else on that recording we should know about?

The NBC News report on this added, “Asked by the Associated Press whether the Kemp campaign has still more snippets it’s holding onto, Kemp spokesman, Ryan Mahoney, said: ‘We will continue to create a clear contrast between Kemp and Cagle in the weeks leading up to Election Day on July 24th.’”

Georgia Republicans will vote two weeks from today. Cagle has long been considered the frontrunner, but these latest developments probably aren’t doing his candidacy any favors.