The worst side effect of a long, competitive Republican primary in Georgia is rearing its ugly head already, just one day after the GOP runoff in the U.S. Senate race is finally over. Democrats released their first campaign ad today against the new Republican candidate David Perdue, using clips of Perdue’s former challengers berating him for his business practices and lifestyle.
“David, it doesn’t take a college degree to figure out that with your record of sending jobs overseas at Haggar, had thousands losing their jobs while you walked away with millions, you took millions in corporate welfare,” says former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel in one clip (cut off before she finished the sentence) showing the candidates at a GOP debate. Around the time of the debate, Handel was still leaking her wounds after Perdue pointed out that she didn’t have a college degree.
"You think people without a college degree or those who [haven't] lived outside of the U.S. can't handle complex issues; when Pillowtex went under you got millions while thousands lost their jobs. This sounds a whole lot more to me like an out-of-touch elitist insider," Handel says in another clip.
"David, your whole lifestyle is based in a different way. You have done well for yourself. But you live in a gated community inside a gated community and have a gate at your house. How are you going to work with John Q. Public when they come up to you and have questions?" U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga) asks in the debate.
The businessman ended up winning the general primary, the only candidate without previous political experience, but with just over 30 percent of the vote, short of the 51 needed to capture the nomination. Kingston came in second, setting up the runoff contest.
Perdue is a former Fortune 500 chief executive, and ran companies such as Reebok and Dollar General. The GOP primary was his first run for political office. Perdue is also former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue’s cousin. However, the former governor didn’t get involved in the race, most likely because majority, if not all, of the Georgia Republican establishment supported Perdue’s opponent Rep. Kingston.
Perdue’s new challenger, Democrat Michelle Nunn, is clearly not wasting any time before the November 4th election and released fundraising “Georgia on My Mind: A Michelle Nunn Money Bomb” last night, right after results of the primary came in. Today, Nunn’s supporters also received an email from former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes (D) who called Perdue “another extremist politician” and encouraged the voters to support Nunn, whom he called “a breath of fresh air.”
“Right now, Michelle's ahead in the polls. But we know that the GOP will be rallying around David Perdue today and deep-pocketed special interests are already lining up behind him,” said Barnes in the email. “We have already seen GOP Super PACs invest millions of dollars in this race, trying to make sure that a voice for the special interests -- not the people of Georgia -- wins this Senate seat. Let's tell those GOP Super PACs thanks, but no thanks. Georgians will be the ones to pick our next U.S. Senator and we want to elect someone to Washington who will make us proud, who will represent Georgia's common sense and spirit of collaboration.”
Nunn is set to receive quite a bit of assistance from the Democratic Party this campaign season, considering that the Georgia race is one of the closest contests nationally. Democrats are fighting to keep their majority in the Senate in an election year that favors Republicans.