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Michelle Nunn and David Perdue spar in first Senate debate

Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perude met Thursday for the first general election U.S. Senate debate in Macon, Georgia where they discussed issues such as immigration, health care, and government shutdown.

Sponsored by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the forum was moderated by John Pruitt, former WSB-TV anchor, at the Macon Marriott City Center. Both candidates are relatively new to politics, and this was their first political debate. Nunn is the daughter of former U.S. Senator from Georgia Sam Nunn, and Perdue is the cousin of former Georgia Governor Sunny Perdue.

Nunn, who has been trailing behind her challenger in all recent polls, spent most of her time attacking Perdue. Perdue, the former CEO of Reebok and Dollar General, took advantage of his comfortable lead and focused mostly on policies of President Barack Obama, as well as the out of control government spending. The former businessman pointed out that as a result of President’s new health care law, he lost his health insurance and the new one under Obamacare is twice as expensive.

Perdue argued that electing Nunn, which could decide whether Democrats keep their majority in the Senate, would only strengthen the President’s agenda.

“If you like what’s going on in Washington, then vote for my opponent, because she knows she’ll be nothing more than a proxy for Harry Reid and Barack Obama,” he said. “Nothing will change.”

Nunn, the CEO of the nonprofit Points of Lights, attacked Perdue for opposing the comprehensive immigration reform, Common Core and the farm bill. Nunn also distanced herself from President Obama when she said he should not issue any executive orders on immigration and criticized him for decreasing military spending.

It was clear, however, that Nunn wanted to define herself as a problem solver who would move things forward in Washington, while her challenger, she claimed, is someone with a bad temper and unwilling to compromise. Nunn reminded the audience about the time when Perdue met with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce about an endorsement but stormed out of the meeting within minutes. At the time, Perdue told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “I got mad. I walked out of a 60-minute interview in about 10 minutes. There’s a rumor going around that I lost my temper. I can confirm for you today that that is true.”

“I think we need more problem-solvers,” said Nunn during the debate. “We need more collaboration and less conflict.”

The general election will take place on November 4, 2014.