Nathan Deal: Georgia’s embarrassment

During Tuesday’s forum for GOP candidates for Governor of Georgia, State Rep. Austin Scott took a jab at US Rep. Nathan Deal while answering a question about the state’s water issues for making an issue out of the conspiracy theory surrounding President Barack Obama’s birth certificate (you can watch the video here, Scott’s comments are at 24:41, Deal’s reply is at 28:58). I’m not the biggest Austin Scott fan, but he had the line of the night.

Scott said (audio):

Let me say this, regardless of who the next governor is they’re gonna have to work with people at the federal level. I’m promise I’m gonna be respectful of our president. I’m gonna support him when I think he’s right and I’m gonna oppose him when I think he’s wrong.

But the ability to work with the president and the leadership at the national level is hindered when you have people who are running for governor that are calling for childish things like the president to show his birth certificate.

A few moments later, panelist Tim Bryant of WGAU asked Deal directly about why he is pursuing the kooky conspiracy theory:

Congressman Deal, Representative Scott brought it up, let me follow up. What if any are your concerns about President Obama’s lawful constitutional status to serve as president. Do you have issues with his birth certificate?

Deal replied (audio):

I don’t have any issues with his birth certificate, and I really don’t think it’s really something that is an issue in the governor’s race. None of these folks serve in Congress. None of them get asked the questions that I get asked by constituents, “tell me what the status of the president’s birth certificate is.” I have simply asked the president, “tell me where I can refer these constituent inquiries to, to a source that you think is credible so that we can answer their questions.” I think that is a reasonable proposition and certainly something that I think the president should respond to. Although at this point, he has not.

In fact, there is a source that has thoroughly debunked this conspiracy theory, though not the only source that knocks this myth out of the water.

Deal tries to pawn it off on his constituents. I don’t buy it. While some of them may believe the myth that Obama was born in Kenya and he may have been approached about it, Deal should know well enough to separate fact from fiction. I’m sure his constituents care much more about issues that actually matter. For him to continue questioning it, going as far to write the White House about the issue is ridiculous and it should make his constituents question his ability to serve in office.

Deal says that this shouldn’t been “an issue in the governor’s race.” I disagree because it brings his capability to effectively serve into question. Given the challenges that the next Governor of Georgia will face, his attention should be on matters where he may actually make a difference, such as the state’s water crisis and budget problems. Chasing half-cocked conspiracies that really have no place in public discourse is a disservice to, not on his constituents, but to all the citizens of Georgia.

I respect the office Nathan Deal holds, but I’ve lost all respect for the man himself. Someone that cannot face facts should not be Governor of Georgia, let alone serve in Congress.


  1. NorthGAGOP says:

    Didn’t he use the I was looking out for a constituent line when asked about his $1,500,000+ exclusive sweet heart deal with the state?

    • Making Sense says:

      Yes, he used that excuse to cover up his “INSIDE DEAL WITH THE STATE OF GA THAT MADE HIM A MILLIONARE”…

      As for Obama, I suppose he could point his constituents to the State of Hawaii and the Republican Governor Linda Lingle for proof that Obama is a citizen, but then again, Deal is so old he probably doesn’t have an updated map indicating that Hawaii is a state.

  2. Chris says:

    Deal also has constituents who think Cheney blew up the WTC, but I bet he never sent a letter to President Bush asking for where he can get proof of Cheney’s location that tuesday morning.

  3. BuckheadConservative says:

    I think Congressman Deal is a good guy, but this is disappointing. He had (has) a lot of positive to bring to this race, I just don’t understand why this is what he chose.

    • Making Sense says:

      Well, it took the ethics investigation against him and his ghetto grandmother comments off the front page for one thing…

  4. ByteMe says:

    So I believe we’re supposed to conclude that not only is he crazy, but also lying about being crazy.

  5. AthensRepublican says:

    This from Nathan Deal’s website: “In Congress, Nathan fought to cut government spending through earmark reform and cost-saving Medicaid reforms. And he’s worked to strengthen our immigration policy by authoring legislation to end automatic birthright citizenship and by successfully fighting to require proof of citizenship before receiving state or federal health care benefits.”

    He has yet to make an effective case of why he should be elected the next Governor. But then again, no one else has effectively made that case either. His “I have the experience” and what he did back in 1973 doesn’t cut it.

  6. ChiefofStaff65 says:


    You said no one else has effectively made the case?

    I may not agree with a few of them but they have made a case. I continue to be impressed by Rep. Scott in this race. He seems like the kind of guy that will tell you what he thinks, politics be dammed. His proposal for eliminating the corporate income tax is one that many people have clamored for years to have. That is pretty “Republican” to me. Funding trauma, a lack of apparent ethical problems that haunt the other candidates, save Mcberry (Insert Joke here) and the fact that he listened to the average person on a walk and did not charge folks like me $500 a plate just to be able to breathe his air is a pretty good platform.

    Jason Pye,

    In your main post you made the comment you are not the biggest Rep. Scott fan but failed to follow up with a reason why. Mind telling me the reasons?

        • polisavvy says:

          I guess he is being categorized as that now by some. However, at the end of the day, a pretty decent definition of a populist is a person who expresses “political ideas and activities that are intended to represent ordinary people’s needs and wishes.” Sounds like what the vast majority of Georgian’s would appreciate. I know I’d like to have a Governor who gives a damn about what ordinary people like me and you need and desire.

        • Jason Pye says:

          I don’t want to get drawn an off topic debate since we are trying to reign in off topic comments here at Peach Pundit. So, if you want to ask me any further questions after this comment, please e-mail me.

          His rhetoric. He uses often uses emotional appeals, at least from what I’ve heard and seen, that lack substance to make himself appear as a candidate of the people or the common man. That’s textbook populism.

          That’s not to say elites should rule or be the only people to get attention, rather taking issues based on merit and substance should be how issues are viewed. Not cheap emotional appeals.

          • Icarus says:

            I think you should have a one on one with Rep Scott, Jason. I have, several times. I think he does actually understand complex issues, and tries to offer real solutions to them.

            If anything, he needs to work on soundbites, because you can’t re-educate the public on every issue as a candidate. There is neither the time nor money for that.

            But I don’t accept that he’s a populist. He just seems to understand that too many Republicans have equated being pro-business to being “pro-big-business”. It’s not the same, and he understands that some of the favors being given to the big guys, i.e. Southern Company, are at the expense of the little guys, i.e. SB 31.

            I don’t consider that populism. I consider it the right thing to do.

          • polisavvy says:

            Didn’t realize I had engaged in a debate. Simply responding to ChiefofStaff’s comment. Sorry I digressed.

          • Jason Pye says:

            I agree that there is a difference between that being “pro-business” isn’t always good for consumers. It’s also true that “pro-business” doesn’t mean free-market. Too many get corporatism confused with capitalism.

            You may not accept what I’m saying, Icarus, but it’s true.

          • He uses often uses emotional appeals, at least from what I’ve heard and seen, that lack substance to make himself appear as a candidate of the people or the common man. That’s textbook populism.

            No, that’s textbook campaigning. Only a tiny fraction of the electorate are policy wonks, and you don’t succeed by directing your speeches toward them and playing professor. Probably the most successful example in recent American history was Al Gore, and he still lost.

            EVERY candidate who wants to be elected is going to present themselves as an advocate for the “common man” or “little guy”, because that describes 90%+ of voters. True “populism” in practice generally involves heavy government services (without asking voters to pay for them), and heavy lip-service to primal social values.

            In other words, the entire field.

          • Jason Pye says:

            Steve, just so you know:

            Pop⋅u⋅lism  [pop-yuh-liz-uhm]
            1. the political philosophy of the People’s party.
            2. (lowercase) any of various, often antiestablishment or anti-intellectual political movements or philosophies that offer unorthodox solutions or policies and appeal to the common person rather than according with traditional party or partisan ideologies.
            3. (lowercase) grass-roots democracy; working-class activism; egalitarianism.
            4. (lowercase) representation or extolling of the common person, the working class, the underdog, etc.: populism in the arts.

          • Game Fan says:

            “I don’t want to get drawn an off topic debate since we are trying to reign in off topic comments here at Peach Pundit.”

            Jason that’s a good one considering your rambling attacks on “birthers” and “populists” and with plenty of adjectives like “kooky”, ect… along with your own editorial viewpoints about the topic itself, which have absolutely nothing to do with an otherwise rational political analysis of the different stances of the candidates and how this issue might help or hurt each one. Sometimes REAL political analysis works best when you use analytical skills if you have any rather than emotion and feelings. You don’t like Populists? So what?

          • Well, well! If you have a dictionary definition, then what can I do…

            … except point out once again that this definition covers pretty much every candidate in the GOP field, as well as virtually every successful political campaign in human history.

            Populists, populists everywhere… they’re all out to getcha, Pye!

          • Game Fan says:

            I like the “populist vs. elitist” and the “populist vs. corporatists” dichotomies. Of course I’m a populist in both cases. Of course some of the “status quo” types will work overtime to associate populism with racism. But of course corporatists and elitists have their racists too. Traditionally populism has been more associated with “farmers” and “country folk” however, as you know I’ve been going with the “suburban populist” deal. Beer, rock and roll, “average Joe”, ect…

          • Mozart says:

            “You may not accept what I’m saying, Icarus, but it’s true.”

            Not really getting into the middle of this, but this should be worded to be “You may not accept what I’m saying, Icarus, but I believe it’s true.”

            Just because you believe something is true, it does not make it true.

    • B Balz says:

      Also, along the lines of being the kinda guy that will tell you what he is thinking: Rep. Scott called out the Southern Company for essentially being complicit in the controversy over water usage between Alabama and Georgia.

      That took some moxie. It also is a huge political risk. Don’t stop now, Rep. Scott.

      • Joshua Morris says:

        Seems to me that Scott is too willing to roll over to the federal govt, rather than to stand up to Capitol Hill on issues of control. He sounded to me like the money stream was more important than principle.

        • anewday says:

          Sounded to me like he didn’t want to make rash decisions. There is a difference between rolling over to federal government and listening to what they have to say. As a huge Republican if this monstrosity of a Health Care Bill gets passed and the Supreme Court OK’s it (which would not surprise me) we better opt in if our tax dollars are going to be used to support. Why pay for it if we can’t use it? The feds will get their money by hook or by crook.

          I know it is a foreign concept to many Peach Pundit commentors, but there is a dialogue that has to go on between state government and federal government. I think Austin Scott said the most rational thing before he said no to a bill that has yet to be passed. I wonder if any of the other candidates would let the citizens of Georgia pay for the bill and then say that you were not allowed to have the fruits of what you are paying for?

          • polisavvy says:

            Exactly. He has a very common sense approach to issues. He doesn’t pander. Those who are so critical should make it a point to engage in a one-on-one discussion with Austin Scott. They will come away with an entirely different opinion of him. I know I certainly did.

          • Joshua Morris says:

            Rather than just opt-in, we should fight it. Scott was quick to state the number of dollars coming from the federal govt to Ga every year to pay for medical costs. Is it this easy for Capitol Hill to control state governments? This is the same reason we have a kindergarten-style law fining us if we don’t buckle ourselves up in our own vehicles.

            If the money leaves our pockets to go to the federal govt, it should come back whether we opt-in to a bad healthcare plan or not. A governor with the right principles would fight that fight.

          • anewday says:

            “We need to stand up and we need to oppose it. We will continue to oppose it as members of the legislature” — Austin Scott talking about federally mandated healthcare at the debate. Does not sound to me like he was rolling over. Also Scott does make a credible point. If this state opted out of federal money then we need to eliminate either A) education or B) everything else. Your choice.

            I agree with you that if we send money off to the federal government it needs to comeback to us whether we opt-in or opt-out. Unfortunately this will be nearly impossible for any gubernatorial candidate to guarentee (and hold true to that guarantee).

          • Joshua Morris says:

            He apparently sees his role in this fight as a legislator differently than his potential role as a governor. I don’t need a guarantee of any outcome–I just want someone who will not snap to attention at the first mention of losing federal dollars.

        • John Konop says:

          Joshua Morris

          This issue is not black and white. An executive must make a decision on how it affects the budget relative to the rules or otherwise you will just shoot yourself in the foot. Ideology argument may make you feel right, but it does not pay the bill.

          Ray for instance made some good points about education I agree with, but his path to the solution would only make the problem worse. Any smart affective executive works within the frame work to get the job done rather than just try to blow it up.

          I do think with the water issue I was very impressed on how Scott took a very professional approach to solving the problem. I also think Karen Handel had the same grasp on solving the education issue.

          The real question in this election is do you want a tough minded no non-sense leader for the next 4 years or do you want an endless debate on feel good talking points while nothing is being solved?

          • SouthGAConservative says:

            Scott was “quick” to respond about several things and certainly looked far more polished than I have ever seen him.

            Unfortunately, I have seen him when he’s not coached and prepped. Despite his years in the legislature I still see many of his ideas, and he himself, as lacking.
            Just overhearing him, I am severely unimpressed. It’s as though until someone else vets his ideas, fixes them, and then hands them back. And lets not forget, this is the same guy that opposed the Obama resolution and proceeded to nationally embarrass Georgia and its General Assembly.

            Bottom line: This guy is not ready. He’s not independently capable either.

  7. John Konop says:

    After the debate it seemed Karen Handel and Austin Scott came across like real LEADERS that I would trust to focus on running the state like a chief executive officer not a party hack pandering to win.

    We are facing very tough times and we need serious leadership not the same old political games that got us into this mess. That is why the post Jason wrote brings up a big issue; will all of us demand this election center around real issues and real solutions?

    At this point I hope and pray that we all wake up and realize enough is enough. Scott Brown just won a miracle election running as an Independent problem solver not a political party hack.

    And I do think when the people of Georgia start focusing on this election the people will look for the same in Georgia. And I thank Jason who I do not always agree with on issues, for bringing up the point in a well written post.

    • B Balz says:

      I have commented here before that Ms. Handel’s educational credentials may adversely affect her electability and to a lesser degree, her ability to govern.

      As I listened to Ms. Handel’s impressive responses and clearly stout critical thinking skills her educational background did seem to matter. The ability to communicate effectively, under pressure, and as the only female, is obvious.

      Voters I have spoken to do not seem to care that much about a sheepskin, rather if the person is capable or not. We’ll see how this is played by the pol ops, press, and ultimately vetted by voters.

      This has to be one of the more interesting gubernatorial races I can recall, and that’s just the GOP aside of the aisle.

      Good job here Jason, really brings perspective to some key points that are voter ‘hot buttons’.

        • polisavvy says:

          Her lack of education has not come up yet; however, undoubtedly it will at some point. I think her bigger hurdle is trying to “unring” the bell she rang when she categorized ALL male members of the legislature as unethical. There are many good and decent men who did not deserve that brushstroke. When she made that statement, in my opinion, she diminished me as a woman.

          • ready2rumble says:

            She didn’t categorize all members as unethical. What does strike me, is that after she called for the ex-speakers to resign, and called for changes to the ethics laws, numerous ethics bills were filed. Looks to me like she is providing some needed leadership on ethics, even though she is not a legislator.

            Before you go down the she’s only doing it for political points road, she is the only one in the race who has passed tough ethics laws (the strongest of any county in the state), and implemented an ethics policy with gift limits at the SoS office. She didn’t need any scandels to do that.

          • John Konop says:


            It is obvious you are associated with a campaign with that comment. After the Richardson saga that attack style will not work no matter who you are going after in my opinion. In my opinion it only helps the candidates without the ethical clouds. BTW you can do what you want, it is a free country.

          • polisavvy says:

            John, I am neither associated nor affiliated with any campaign. As a matter of fact, I have not decided which of three candidates I am leaning towards. What makes you think that Karen Handel is not one of those candidates? I simply said that she started something when she painted men in the legislature as being unethical. That’s the point I was trying to make. She is one of three candidates I am considering; she is also one of three with no ethical challenges. Be mindful that she is not the only ethical candidate running. As for your “going after her comment,” I am going after no one. I am simply voicing what I have perceived to be an issue that should have been handled in a different manner and one that could end up haunting her.

          • Making Sense says:

            I think if you actually listened or read what she said you’d realize that she didn’t call everyone there unethical. She said “some”, which is much different than all.

            I think outside of the 285 loop, real Georgians are pretty tired of the special interest bull crap down at the capitol, thus you’re seeing such strength for Roy Barnes.

            Republicans need a clean break from the status quo or this will be Roy’s race to lose.

          • Mozart says:

            Pretty sure she has used the phrase “good ole BOYS” to refer to the legislature of mostly men.

            It would greatly help your cause if you would stop denying things Handel said when she actually did say them and mean to paint a wide swath across all males in the legislature.

  8. polisavvy says:

    I can’t help but wonder why if Deal was only pursuing the whole birth certificate issue for his constituents that he chose to run away and try to hide when confronted by Fox News for questioning? Seems to me he would have manned up and said that he was pursuing this for his constituents and ended the whole discussion. He didn’t and now he’s paying the price for his actions.

  9. hewhoone says:

    According to the Fox News website Congressman Deal will be on with Neil Cavuto @ 4:00 to discuss a proposal to cut congressional pay to cover deficits. Don’t forget to set your DVR’s!

  10. Loren says:

    Deal’s skepticism and demand for answers only begs the question: when will Nathan Deal respond to the rumors about his birth?

    For instance, the rumor that he was born in Canada while his father was attempting to dodge the WWII draft? Or that his parents were actually Julius and Ethel Rosenberg?

    I don’t have any issues with his birth, and I’m not saying the rumors are true; I’m just asking questions. But when does Rep. Deal plan on responding to these rumors? Where does he suggest I refer people to a source that he thinks is credible so that we can answer these questions?

    I think that is a reasonable proposition and certainly something that I think Deal should respond to. Although at this point, he has not.

    • AthensRepublican says:

      She comes across as smart and competent but too cold. People have to like her first before they will listen to her.

  11. Game Fan says:

    Since the actual subject of Obama’s birthplace has already been breached I think that in the spirit of bi-partisanship, staying “on topic” and what “Algore” calls “respecto” I feel duty-bound to provide an alternate perspective, (pertaining to the subject of the thread, as defined by Jason Pye) a perspective which, apparently some of the otherwise “free thinkers” and “Libertarians” and “politically incorrect” folks on this site seem to shrink away from. What I find most amusing is how Pete Randall is so busy inflaming racial animosity at the local level, however he’s a no-show on issues like Obama’s birthplace. Petey? You there?

    • AubieTurtle says:

      I just find it funny when Republicans complain about not being able to make inroads with the black community when there are hundreds of thousands of Petes around thinking they can speak racism between the lines and only have those who they wish to understand to message see it. The GOP doesn’t appear to ever be able to attract significant numbers of African-Americans and only have themselves to blame. Same goes for hispanics and now they’re losing the youth too (Gen X was the last ones to be part of the GOP). I’m not sure where their future voters are going to come from when people like Pete and Harry make themselves the face of the party.

      Funny thing is that at one point they got close with the homosexual wedge issue but as one time GOP supporters Charles Barkley said “I was Republican until they lost their minds.” People like Pete just couldn’t help themselves and never will.

  12. Game Fan says:

    Well, Petey and myself aren’t on the same page. However, I’m definitely a birther. And a populist too, but not an isolationist or a hater. So in this respect, I’m “down with the peeps” of Kenya, most of whom consider Obama a “child of Kenya”. 🙂

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