After the first Senate debate in Georgia on Thursday, the Democratic candidate Michelle Nunn told reporters that if elected, she would not automatically support her party’s leadership, which in her case would be Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev). Instead, Nunn said, she’d vote for someone who is willing to work across the aisle.
“I look forward to changing the composition in the leadership of the Senate. The way that we’re going to change Washington is to bring more people to recognize — to have the humility to recognize — that there are good ideas on both sides of the aisle," Nunn told reporters after a debate with her Republican opponent, businessman David Perdue. "I will vote for the Democratic leader that I think best represents our capacity to get things done and move things forward.”
Nunn, the CEO of a Georgia non-profit Points of Light, has been running her campaign as a centrist non-partisan who would like to engage in common sense solutions with both Democrats and Republicans. In Thursday’s debate, she was critical of Perdue as well President Barack Obama.
While Nunn made it clear that Perdue’s defiant statements about Democratic policies mean that the businessman would simply join the GOP resistance in Washington with limited results, she also criticized President’s handling of military and immigration policies.
Nunn is trying to define Perdue as a committed partisan who will be just another peon for the GOP establishment. She pointed out that right after the Republican primary, Perdue went to Washington where he ensured the Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) of his support.
Perdue drew a contrast between himself and his career-politician opponents during the GOP primary, as a successful businessman who wants to make a difference in Washington and would not vote for McConnell to remain the Republican leader in the Senate. But according to U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga), Perdue sang a different tune during a meeting with McConnell, Chambliss and U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga) after the primary.
“They were very forthright and David made it very plain he’s going to support the Republican leadership and that’s not an issue and we’re moving on,” said Chambliss at the end of July about the meeting. “I don’t want to put words in his mouth … but he was very clear with the Leader that he’s going to be a team player.”
“The only team I’m playing for here is Georgia,” said Nunn.
Both candidates are political newbies and Thursday’s debate was their first one. Nunn is the daughter of former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn (D-Ga) and Perdue is the cousin of former Georgia Governor Sunny Perdue.