Labor Commissioner Mark Butler called Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Jason Carter by his grandfather’s name, while Republican U.S. Senate nominee David Perdue referred to opponent Michelle Nunn as “Michelle Obama.”
“David, you have an exceptionally hard job ahead of you,” Butler told Perdue. “You’ve got an opponent coming up here … that I find also has another thing in common with our current president: She likes helping Hamas also.”
Gov. Nathan Deal said he and Perdue faced “formidable opposition.”
“We both are in the posture of having to combat extensive money coming into our opponents’ fundraising camps, much of it from out of the state, and much of it from organizations that, in my opinion, are not totally compatible with the opinions of most Georgians,” Deal said. “Now my opponent, he’s getting a lot of money from his hometown; Chicago is a wealthy place. I’ve reminded my folks in my hometown of Sandersville, Ga., that they’ve got to keep up. And they’re doing their part. David and I are Georgians. Others would make you think they’re Georgians.”
Deal spoke of the humble beginnings both he and Perdue came from and how both were the sons of school teachers.
Labor unions, he warned, are providing substantial financial assistance to their opponents.
“We are a right-to-work state, folks,” Deal said. “Why do you think we are seeing industrialists and businesses that manufacture things and have large labor forces, what do you think one of the ingredients is that makes Georgia attractive? It is the fact we are a right-to-work state.”
Growth in Georgia would wither, Deal said, if the state loses its right-to-work distinction.
He also accused Carter of using the governor’s race as a springboard for higher office.
“I’ve been to Washington, and Barry (Loudermilk) and the rest of you, congratulations. I don’t care to go back,” Deal said. “I wish David and Barry and all of our others who are going there, I wish them well. But I don’t think you can say that on my opponent’s side of the agenda that he will make that kind of promise. He looks to this office as a springboard for something else. Georgia does not need a governor who is always going to weigh in the political scales of balance whether or not he should do this or do that. My scales of balance are what is good for the citizens of Georgia.”
Deal introduced Perdue to the breakfast crowd. Stepping up to the lectern, Perdue, who won a bruising July 22 runoff against U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Savannah) said, “Y’all are a lot friendlier right now than the last time I was over here. Just kidding, just kidding.”
After referring to Nunn as “Michelle Obama,” Perdue said he doesn’t take his opponent “lightly.”
“I respect her father, I respect her family, I respect her work, I respect her. She’s just on the wrong team, y’all,” Perdue said, adding, “and I’m going to expose that.”
The former Reebok CEO said his mission in life over the next three months is to expose the failure of President Barack Obama’s administration.
“Y’all, this is not going to be a state race — we’re going to win it in the state — this is a national race,” Perdue said. “If you don’t believe it, look at the money that’s pouring into this state right now on my back and on his back. We all got a glimpse into the Democratic strategist mindset this past week. Right? It’s a little scary. If you haven’t seen it, you really ought to go read it. They’re talking about $37 million in a Senate race in Georgia. It’s outrageous.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reminded readers this week Perdue vowed during the Republican primary to vote against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The column went on to report since becoming the Republican nominee, Perdue has undergone a change in tone.
Perdue was asked after the breakfast if he stood by his initial pledge to vote against McConnell as minority leader.
“Yes, I do, but the No. 1 thing I’m going and working on to do right now is making sure Harry Reid is not the next Majority Leader, so you know, I’m going to be a team player with whoever is leading the Republican Party in Washington,” Perdue said. “This is not about a fight inside the Republican Party. This is about winning this race to make sure the Republicans get a majority in the Senate. Period.”