With the primary just four months away, seven candidates faced each other in the first of seven planned debates between to see who would be the Republican nominee to replace retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Of the eight declared candidates, only Rep. Phil Gingrey was not on stage.
The main emphasis seemed to be on piling onto those candidates who have been representatives in Washington for quite some time - Gingrey, Paul Broun, and Jack Kingston. The three have been hammered often by the other candidates before and during their debate for their tenure in Washington and (lack of) effectiveness in stopping Democratic initiatives.
Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel led the way, with comments scorching her Congressional opponents as accommodationists while citing her own budget-cutting history and calling for zero-based budgeting.
"Career politicians have just kicked the can down the road...The individuals on this stage who say they have tried, that's not good enough. I have cut the budget."
The next debate between the candidates is scheduled for February 1, 2014 in Kennesaw, GA.