Are Republicans Concerned About the Perdue Campaign?

With less than a week before the election, the Georgia Senate race is getting more national attention. This morning, a profile of the Perdue campaign from The Hill highlights the GOP candidate’s experience with outsourcing, and the Nunn campaign’s use of the contents of a deposition made during the time of the Pillowtex bankruptcy. In that deposition, Perdue admitted he was proud of outsourcing.

The outsourcing remarks and Perdue’s attempt to defend his record are not new news, especially for those who follow the race closely. The new element in the Hill story is the concern expressed by some GOP insiders over the campaign, and the need to defend it.

Perdue won a hard-fought, crowded primary last summer by framing himself as a political outsider and job creator. Even his allies admit the Democratic attacks have undercut one of his campaign’s main arguments: that he knows how to help grow the economy.

“He was a great businessman, and some things sometimes that businesspeople are involved in are not necessarily the most popular things with the citizens in this country,” Georgia Republican Party Chairman John Padgett told The Hill following a GOP unity rally in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta on Friday evening. “That doesn’t mean that they’re not good candidates, but they have a job to do, and their job is to make sure the company they represent makes money.”

Privately, many Republicans are frustrated with Perdue’s campaign, worried he could cost them the seat.

One high-ranking Georgia Republican said that at a recent golf charity event, many in the party were complaining about having to support Perdue.

“I have never heard people say the following, and these are Republicans: ‘I have never felt more disgusted about who to vote for than this year,’ ” the GOP official said.



  1. Three Jack says:

    Only thing saving the GOP in this race is Nunn’s failure to put forth an agenda. If the dem nominee came forward with something more than soundbites, it would be a landslide for them.

    • Andrew C. Pope says:

      On the flip side, an actual agenda would give Perdue something to attack. She’s much more appealing to independents and persuadable Republicans when her campaign points are limited to: “I ran a non-profit that’s dedicated to helping people,” “David Perdue made wheelbarrows full of cash by laying off workers and moving their jobs overseas,” and “I disagree with the President on X/Y/Z issues.”

      • NoTeabagging says:

        I think both comments indicate a true campaign issue. Campaign rule #1 Never state what you WILL do or WANT to do. No Promises. Current rules of engagement obviously decree candidates must latch onto personal trivia and turn it into a scarlet letter.

        Rule #2 Distraction. Find something about your opponent and work it to death. The media happily plays this game to avoid asking candidates relevant questions or pressing for meaningful statements. What little air time is devoted to campaigns is now reduced to scorekeeping on repetitive, nasty statements and endless, trivial personal matters. This distracts from having to explore true leadership ideas from either candidate. Heaven forbid candidates should debate or defend their leadership plans and goals.

        Personally, the outsourcing issue has an expired shelf life. True, it made a negative impact on the “Perdue as job creator” brand. Move on people, you got my attention, now give me something meaningful. Your fifteen minutes are almost up!

        • Andrew C. Pope says:

          To be honest, though, what do we expect either of them to do? It’s not like the House or the Senate are really in the business of doing stuff these days.

          I think Nunn may be more willing to actually compromise on issues because she can afford to be a moderate. Heck, she needs to be a moderate. Even with demographic changes, success in 2020 will still hinge on swaying independents and moderate Rs. No one is going to challenge her from the left, there isn’t a deep enough Democratic bench in Georgia to do so. 2020 is a Presidential year, so she won’t be as concerned about turnout amongst her own party. Nunn playing ball with Republicans helps her more than it hurts.

          Perdue on the other hand can’t afford to reach across the aisle. If he moderates he risks a strong primary challenge from the right. Given the demographic shifts, I don’t think he can go “full Cruz” and expect to retain his seat in 2020 but, his incentive to actually do any work in the Senate is much lower than Nunn’s.

      • Scott65 says:

        Perdue saying 2000 women suing a company he was in charge of for pay discrimination was “insignificant” wasn’t exactly optimal either. It was settled 5 years after he left but the allegations were made while he was in charge.

  2. northside101 says:

    It will be interesting on election night to see how Kingston’s home congressional district, the 1st (which covers coastal Georgia and runs southwest to the outskirts of Valdosta) votes in the Senate contest. The district averages mid to upper 50s in percentage support for GOP statewide candidates (56 percent for Romney in 2012, average of 58 for GOP statewide candidates in 2010). But Kingston was wildly popular here in the Senate GOP primary and runoff—taking 75 percent in the former and 81 percent in the latter—and it remains to be seen how much of that support defects to Nunn or leaves that ballot blank. Probably easy to see Deal run ahead of Perdue in this district (in terms of their respective contests). Incidentally, it would only take a few minutes on election night to calculate roughly how it votes—simply add the 15 “whole” counties (the 15 counties that are entirely in the district), and as for the two split counties (Effingham and Lowndes), about 60 percent of the former is in CD 1 and only about 5 percent of latter). Other than CD 14 (Tom Graves’s district in northwest Georgia, which has only 1 split county—Pickens), CD 1 is the easiest cong district to calculate in the state as pertains to statewide elections.

    • Ellynn says:

      I expect the Kingston coastal Republican strong holds to remain Republican. It’s going to be the inland areas along the I-95 and I-16 corridor that Perdue needs to worry about. This is where the manufacturing areas that either lost jobs, or have added warehouse/port related small manufacturing are located.

      • Andrew C. Pope says:

        I think most Republican areas will remain Republican, I just think the gaps between R & D will narrow from where they were in 2010, 2012, etc. Name of the game for Nunn (and Carter) is hoping that positive name value and a bad Republican slate can swing the independents and some persuadable Rs in south Georgia. Then combo that with increased turnout in Fulton, DeKalb and the rest of the Dem strongholds. End of the day, I think this thing goes to a runoff in both races. If a Dem wins free and clear, its gonna be Nunn (which I would not have guessed before this thing started).

  3. Baker says:

    ““I have never heard people say the following, and these are Republicans: ‘I have never felt more disgusted about who to vote for than this year,’ ” the GOP official said.”

    Those people are stupid.

    David Perdue was my third, maybe fourth choice (Handel, Kingston, Gingrey(?), in the primary but he’s still leagues better than anyone that would vote for Harry Reid to remain Majority Leader. I’m not crazy about the idea of an outsourcing, tax-credit hunting CEO being a Senator either, but would Nunn vote for the Keystone Pipeline? Would she vote to confirm a conservative as a Supreme Court justice? Get over yourselves Repub voters.

        • David C says:

          If the President doesn’t want the Keystone Pipeline, you’re going to need 67 votes to overcome a veto, no matter if it comes to the floor or not.

          • Baker says:

            I think there may be enough “moderate” democrats, Joe Manchin comes to mind, that if this were to actually get on the floor, 67 wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility.

            • David C says:

              Certainly possible, but a lot of the “moderate” Democrats who would vote for it anyway are the ones that are the top Republican targets right now (Landreiu, Pryor, etc) so you aren’t actually flipping votes even when you’re flipping seats. To get to 67 you don’t just need moderate Democrats, you need the 34th most Liberal one.

        • NoTeabagging says:

          Keystone pipeline is just another corporate pillage of our resources.
          Most of the rush to get oil and gas is for private overseas profit. Profit now, while the export market is high.
          It is not about keeping it in America for energy independence. That is a lie. Job creation, another lie. Few permanent jobs are created in this gold rush. The fracking process is creating huge areas of uninhabitable landscape. Good luck selling a home in these areas due to your oil/gas job fouling the water, land and air.

          • Baker says:

            First of all, do you think the oil from the sands in Canada is not going to be exported if we don’t build Keystone? It’s just going to stay in the ground? No. It’s going to be shipped on much more dangerous for the environment tankers to China, not exactly know for their environmental friendliness, or some other place in Asia that won’t take the care we would, and those evil profits you speak of will go there instead of here. How can you be for that?

            And as for fracking, I’ll excerpt a smidge from this piece:

            “While controversy over hydraulic fracturing is new, the practice itself is not. Since 1947, hydraulic fracturing has been used to extract more than 7 billion barrels of oil and 600 trillion feet of natural gas from deep underground shale formations.

            The recent combination of fracturing technology with directional drilling—meaning six to eight horizontal wells drilled from only one well pad—can produce the same volume as 16 vertical wells. This has decreased the surface impact of drilling operations while growing our domestic reserves substantially. In 2007, prior to the application of directional drilling, the U.S. natural gas resources that could be recovered with existing technology were estimated to be 1.5 quadrillion cubic feet. In 2008, after the breakthrough, the amount of domestic natural resources surged to 2.5 quadrillion feet. In other words, in just one year’s time, we expanded our access to domestic natural gas by 66 percent.”

            I am all for increased solar, wind and other renewable energy options. I am also for ending subsidies to oil companies, the giant ones and the small ones you’ve never heard of (who really get a huge chunk of the subsidies). But we are not there yet. Any way we can lessen ours, and the world’s, dependence on a bunch of gay-killing, rape-victim killing, barbarians in Riyadh and Tehran, not to mention our buddies in Moscow, I’m all for. But that’s just me.

            • NoTeabagging says:

              Homework assignment. Watch the documentaries “Gasland” and “Gasland 2” for a real world look at living around oil and gas wells in America. Polluted water, foul air, cancer is just the beginning from thousands of tiny wells dotting the landscape. Not all due to fracking, but other industry practices contribute to the growing environmental and health problems. Add the waste of offburning gas and methane release (which could be harnessed for energy BTW) to the list of abuses.

              The oil and gas is already going to Asia and Europe. 60% or more. The “we must do it for our energy independence” is a big lie. Even Obama is selling the lie. IF you want domestic oil and gas production, you must demand our politicians keep it here.

              • Baker says:

                I’m not saying “we must do it for our energy independence”. I’m saying whatever power can be pulled away from Saudi Arabia or Iran or Russia is a good thing. My point about Asia was that the gas from Canada that would run through the Keystone Pipeline is instead shipped as crude on tankers (much more environmentally dangerous and energy wasteful than a pipeline) to places such as China whose refineries don’t have nearly the environmental standards we do.

                And I’ve got one for you…watch the documentary “FrackNation” which examines some of what Josh Fox may have left out of his Gasland movies.

                And those thousands of tiny wells you mention is, thanks to horizontal drilling and fracking, not nearly the number of wells it otherwise would be if vertical drilling were the only option.

              • Baker says:

                I’m not saying there are no problems with it or that I’m totally cool with it all….the amount of land that has to be cleared for wind farms is also really unfortunate. The deadly wastelands that apparently get created by the heat of solar farms is a pretty bitter pill. I’m all for energy conservation and creative energy rates (dynamic pricing/ tiered usage rates would be my ideal I think) to encourage it but these resources are there and we can’t afford to not use them.

    • David C says:

      She probably would vote to confirm a conservative as Supreme Court justice, assuming they were qualified and not Harriet Miers. Red State Democrats voted for Alito and Roberts, and blue/swing state Republicans voted for Sotomayor and Kagan. Sam Nunn voted for all of Ford’s, Reagan’s and Bush’s nominees except for Robert Bork. There’s still a deferral to the President on nominations for the high court, and both parties have gotten good at producing Supreme Court nominees with sterling resumes that hold up under confirmation. Unless Republicans win the White House in 2016 though it’s all irrelevant how she would vote for a Conservative justice anyway. If you want a conservative Supreme Court nominee, you actually have to actually elect a President to make that nomination.

      • Baker says:

        Noted on the bit about president, of course Repubs would need to win in 2016 but…

        “Sam Nunn voted for all of Ford’s, Reagan’s and Bush’s nominees except for Robert Bork”…we are a long way from that time.

        Sandra Day O’Connor confirmed 99–0
        William Rehnquist confirmed 65–33
        Antonin Scalia confirmed 98–0
        Robert Bork rejected 42–58 (Borked thanks to Ted Kennedy’s ridiculous rhetoric
        Anthony Kennedy confirmed 97–0

        However, now in the era of hyper-partisan on both sides Supreme Court nominations, along with everything else, is much more polarized.

        Samuel Alito was confirmed 58–42 ,
        Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed 68–31,
        Elena Kagan confirmed 63 –37,

        • David C says:

          True, but like I said, your Red State Ds and your Blue state Rs generally crossed the aisle on those nominations. There isn’t the deference from Red State Rs for Democratic Nominees or Blue State Ds for Republican ones that there used to be, but there’s still some crossover support and there’s no reason to think Nunn wouldn’t vote likewise.

          As to Bork, he was never getting onto the High Court after his role in the Saturday Night Massacre, and losing a confirmation fight 42-58 with 6 Republicans defecting is a blowout independent of Kennedy’s rhetoric.

      • Baker says:

        But I dont see how you can ignore that as a factor. If you’re fine with Mr. Reid, then obviously it sounds silly. But if you think he is as big a disgrace as I do (as I would assume other Repub-types paying attention do), it is a big factor.

        • Andrew C. Pope says:

          So you’re saying Mitch McConnell would somehow be a better leader than Harry Reid? Reid isn’t great, but I haven’t seen anything from McConnell that says he’ll be any different.

          And no, there is no fathomable way Cruz/Rubio/Paul usurp McConnell as majority leader.

          • Baker says:

            Read the Hugh Hewitt interview with Mitch I linked to at 2:47…that will show you the difference we’d get with him as leader.

            And I like Paul and Rubio just fine but Cruz is a grandstander who I wouldn’t want to be majority leader. Mitch got unanimous Republican opposition to Obamacare and you may have problems with him, I’m not saying he’s perfect, but his conservative bona fides are as good as anyone, the difference is he is a pragmatist.

  4. ten10 says:

    No one has mentioned the MARTA referendum on the ballot in Clayton County, a democrat stronghold. The grassroots movement going on down there is amazing. The need for transit is a driving force for people to get to the polls, who may have otherwise stayed home. These would be voters, I think, could double the votes in Clayton County. That means a lot more votes to the Democrats.

  5. HueyMahl says:

    “He was a great businessman, and some things sometimes that businesspeople are involved in are not necessarily the most popular things with the citizens in this country,” Georgia Republican Party Chairman John Padgett told The Hill following a GOP unity rally in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta on Friday evening.

    Isn’t that the same John Padgett that is accused in a federal complaint of firing his secretary because she complained that other GOP staffers called her racial epithets?

  6. Nixonstheone says:

    Interesting. “Privately,” several Dem friends have expressed their difficulty in supporting a candidate who is so socially awkward and unattractive.

    • saltycracker says:

      That’s even more lame than those declaring to vote for her just because “it’s time for a woman.”

    • Jon Lester says:

      I’ve said all along that she’d make a fine neighbor, and that I think we’d have a good conversation about my own famous politician relative. I can easily identify with the things you call “socially awkward,” too, though I don’t think one becomes an administrator of a large charity if that’s a serious matter. I decided my vote entirely on matters of policy.

    • jh says:

      I think she’s cute when she straightens her hair 🙂 She carries that look in her ads and the debates, but no where else. BTW, it’s ridiculous, me included, that we even talk about this, and your friends are stupid.

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