Democrat Michelle Nunn’s campaign for the U.S. Senate seat has had to deal with the release of a plan that defined her campaign strategy and provided fodder for ads by Republican candidate David Perdue. In what could be described as karma, Politico today released a deposition from Perdue taken as a result of the Pillowtex bankruptcy that paints his career as being largely responsible for outsourcing manufacturing jobs to Asia.
During a July 2005 deposition, a transcript of which was provided to POLITICO, Perdue spoke at length about his role in Pillowtex’s collapse, which led to the loss of more than 7,600 jobs. Perdue was asked about his “experience with outsourcing,” and his response was blunt.
“Yeah, I spent most of my career doing that,” Perdue said, according to the 186-page transcript of his sworn testimony.
The deposition was triggered by a lawsuit brought by Pillowtex creditors who were unhappy with Perdue’s leadership, including claims that he received financial compensation he didn’t deserve. Perdue testified that the allegations were baseless, and none of them were ultimately substantiated by the lawsuit.
Perdue campaign manager Derrick Dickey said it was wrong to suggest from Perdue’s statements that the Republican candidate wanted to ship jobs overseas. Perdue’s comments about “outsourcing,” Dickey said, referred to a “company contracting with an outside source, not the direct shift of jobs overseas.”
The Washington Post notes that outsourcing jobs is a sensitive issue for voters that may have cost GOPer Mitt Romney in his presidential bid.
A September 2013 Post/Miller Center poll found that four in five Americans blame outsourcing for it being harder to find good jobs in the United States. A 2013 Pew poll determined that three-quarters of Americans see companies moving overseas as “mostly hurting” the U.S. economy. Outsourcing was also a flashpoint in the 2012 presidential campaign, with Mitt Romney’s campaign clashing with The Washington Post over its report that Bain Capital had invested in companies that sent jobs overseas.
The Post story also lists some of the most damaging statements contained in the deposition.
Matt Towery at Insider Advantage blames a rise in Michelle Nunn’s poll numbers on reaction by likely voters to an ad by Perdue highlighting alleged support for terrorism that was based on information in the Nunn campaign memo. Now it’s time to see what the Nunn campaign will do to highlight the Perdue deposition in future ads in the month before Election Day.