POLITICS: Perdue makes local campaign stop to kick off final week of bid to 'Keep rural Georgia red' in Senate runoff
The Courier Herald – December 30, 2020
Sen. David Perdue declared Georgia the nation's "last line of defense" against a seismic leftward shift in Washington at a campaign event in Laurens Hill, just south of Montrose, early Monday afternoon.
The incumbent senator used no uncertain terms in casting the battle for control of the upper congressional chamber as a struggle to maintain the legislature's last remaining conservative foothold and preserve the progress made under President Donald Trump as he kicked off the last full week of campaigning in his bid for re-election to a second term.
Perdue, opposed by Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff in next Tuesday's runoff election, addressed local supporters at Whitehall Plantation on a stop along his "Win Georgia, Save America" bus tour, which also held Middle Georgia events Monday in Dodge, Washington and Baldwin counties.
He voiced a stern warning of the implications should the Democratic party capture control of the Senate, thus paving the way to enact an agenda championed by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that he described as antithetical to the beliefs of Georgians and the nation as a whole.
"They are absolutely dedicated to changing this country, and they have a vision of America that's totally different than what our founders had and what we've been able to prove is right," Perdue said.
Georgia's pair of Senate posts, both up for grabs next Tuesday, will determine the camera's balance of power for the next two years, following a 2020 election cycle that maintained a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and has Democrat Joe Biden slated to assume the presidency. Fellow Republican Kelly Loeffler also faces Democrat Raphael Warnock as she vies to keep her seat, to which she was appointed following the retirement of longtime Sen. Johnny Isakson, in a special election.
Both bitter races have come under the national spotlight with congressional sway in the balance. Democrats need both seats to change hands in order to shift control of the chamber, which has been held by the GOP since 2015.
"We've got one shot at this," Perdue said. "This is bigger than me."
He promised to continue standing in opposition to a number of proposed policies, decrying the astronomical cost of the controversial Green New Deal and spelling out threats of increased taxes to Georgia's agriculture industry and households in the state at-large. Perdue went on to outline the dangers of socialist economic policies, the de-privatization of health care and efforts to defund police and cut military spending.
He also underscored fears that a Democratic-controlled Senate would go so far as to change Senate rules to curtail minority leverage, eliminating the filibuster and requiring only a simple majority to advance legislation. He said the potential for more extreme measures like adding Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico as states (flipping structure of the Senate) and expanding the Supreme Court are also not out of the question in that scenario.
"(Schumer) wants a one-party system," Perdue said. "They have to have that, because none of the things they want to do can be bipartisan."
He presented Tuesday's election as a chance for Republicans to "hold the line" against opponents and preserve recent accomplishments of Congress and the Trump administration including energy independence, tax reform, restoration of military funding and reductions in business regulation.
"I'm focused solely on Jan. 5 right now, because I know what'll happen if they get power, but I also know what will happen if we hold these two seats," Perdue said. "Those two seats mean that we can shut the door on this liberal agenda that they're trying to do, and we can protect what we've already done."
Perdue and Ossoff were separated by an approximate two percentage points in the general election. At 49.7 percent, Perdue came just shy of the majority needed to avoid a runoff.
His campaign, which made a number of stops in South Georgia over the weekend, is hoping to generate even more robust support from rural areas of the state that have been a focus in recent days.
Loeffler is currently canvassing the Northern half of the state on a similar tour. Trump is scheduled to join the duo as they rendezvous in Atlanta Monday night in the final countdown to election day.
Early in-person voting ends Thursday.
"It's all hands on deck right now," Perdue said.
Monday's lunchtime event was held at the historic plantation owned by Tom and Nell Bradbury, where the scenic front lawn of its main house served as the gathering spot. Perdue and a number of other speakers delivered remarks from the center of its wraparound porch, still decorated with red ribbons and Christmas greenery.
He was joined at the stop by former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, his first cousin, a fellow native of nearby Houston County and current U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, who joined Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and Public Service Commissioner Bubba McDonald in urging voters to get to early voting sites this week and encourage others to do the same.
"You know what's at stake," Sonny said. "We've talked about trying to persuade people who may have gotten confused earlier. I want to make sure we get those out that voted for us the first time, because David Perdue's already won by over two points. So we want to make sure these people come back out.
"If we get our vote out, we will win."