Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts says he can still pick up the phone and chat with former President Donald Trump, despite their differences in who should win the Republican primaries for governor of Nebraska and Georgia.
Ricketts’ comments at an unrelated Monday news conference come despite Trump last week calling Ricketts a “RINO” – Republican in Name Only – for backing Georgia incumbent Brian Kemp over Trump’s choice, former U-S Senator David Perdue.
Trump has attacked Kemp ever since the Georgian refused to support his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in that state.
Ricketts is co-chair of the Republican Governors Association and says the group’s policy has always been to support incumbents for reelection, including Kemp.
The ex-president went head-to-head earlier this month in the Nebraska primary with Jim Pillen, endorsed by Ricketts, beating Charles Herbster, who was Trump’s choice.
Ricketts waved off any suggestion of a permanent rift with Trump, saying he agrees with many of the former president’s policies and that sometimes they’re just backing different candidates – adding they’re backing the same ones in Texas and Arizona.
The governor called his relationship with Trump “fine” and that he feels he can pick up the phone and call him as he has in the past.
The Ricketts family has had an on-and-off association with Trump. During the 2016 primary, the governor’s parents, billionaires Joe and Marlene Ricketts, were major donors to a super PAC devoted to defeating Trump.
Later in the campaign, the family got behind Trump and Gov. Ricketts appeared at a rally in support of him. While Trump was in office, Ricketts supported the vast majority of his programs and proposals, then campaigned hard for him in 2020.