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Kasim Reed rips into Georgia Republicans who won't denounce Donald Trump

On Friday, the Rev. Raphael Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church called on U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson to disavow his party's nominee. On Sunday, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed went on national TV to do essentially the same thing - though he didn't invoke Isakson's name.

Speaking on Al Sharpton's MSNBC show, the Atlanta Democrat was asked if it was time for Republicans to confront Donald Trump.

"We need to make it clear that if you don't withdraw your support or your endorsement of Don Trump, then history and the rest of us are really never going to forgive failing to act," said Reed. "There was time to do something about it, and if you needed more of an excuse, the reference that Don Trump made to President Barack Obama founding a terrorist organization whose mission is to kill Americans should be the moment that draws all Republicans who love America to action."

Georgia Democrats have gleefully ripped into U.S. Sen. David Perdue after he donned Trump's "Make America Great Again" cap and endorsed the businessman. But Isakson is more popular with the Democratic Party's ranking elite, and several high-profile Democratic figures have endorsed the Republican's re-election campaign over their own party's nominee.

And for Reed, Sunday's jabs were aimed at Perdue as well: The first-term senator could be a Reed competitor down the road for higher office, along with a gaggle of other Republican officials who have stood by their nominee. And the mayor wants support for Trump to be a litmus test in future elections.

Isakson, for his part, has made clear he won't apologize for Trump's divisive rhetoric - though he said he would never have uttered the "Second Amendment" comments that some saw was a suggestion that gun rights activists could stop Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“What I say is what I say. I’m not an apologist for anybody, and if somebody’s offended somebody, they need to be the person apologizing, not me.”

Read more:  Pastor of MLK’s church calls on Isakson to denounce Trump

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.