U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, said there are two types of people in politics.
“There are be-ers and there are do-ers,” he said, comparing District 6 U.S. House of Representatives candidates Jon Ossoff, a Democrat, and Karen Handel, a Republican, respectively. “The be-er is someone who wants to be somebody. It’s someone who wants to parachute into a Congressional district he doesn’t even live in, to try and fool you to think he thinks like you and shares your values. The do-er is someone who actually lives, eats, sleeps, breathes the principles you share, somebody who believes in specific principles and then goes and affects those principles. Someone who actually does what she says and is from where she says she’s from, Karen Handel.”
Ryan was at the Atlanta Marriott Perimeter hotel in Dunwoody to rally for Handel, who faces Ossoff in the June 20 special runoff election to fill the seat of Tom Price, M.D., R-Roswell, who resigned in February when he was named the U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services.
It is at least the second time a national politician has stumped in Atlanta for Handel. In late April, while attending the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting at the Georgia World Congress Center, President Donald Trump pledged his support for her. While in town Trump also spoke at a private fundraiser for Handel’s campaign at the Capital City Club in downtown Atlanta.
At the May 15 rally, Ryan was one of several politicians speaking in support of Handel. In Ossoff, she faces an opponent who has outspent her and out-advertised her.
“This is going to be a dogfight. … This is going to be the most expensive Congressional election in history,” Sandy Springs Mayor Paul said. “But it’s not going to come down to money. It’s going to come down to the crew that works the hardest.”
Said Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, “Out in California, they say it’s a referendum. They’re right. It’s a referendum of who represents the Sixth District of Georgia and has positive values and does not represent California or Manhattan.
“I don’t want to wake up on June 21 and have a new Congressman named Peloisioff,” he said, referring to Ossoff’s support from U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Ryan said Handel’s experience as the Fulton County Board of Commissioners’ chair and the secretary of state help make her the better candidate and the one who can best fill “the big shoes” of Price and his predecessors, Johnny Isakson and Newt Gingrich, also Republicans.
“We need her,” he said. “There is so much at stake in this country right now. There is so much at stake in this election right now. There’s a big responsibility. Georgians are going to help determine the direction of this country. You know what we’ve got to do this summer? We’ve got to repeal and replace Obamacare, … Then we’ve got take this crazy tax code that is hurting jobs, killing small businesses and getting the IRS meddling in your lives and replacing it with a tax code that actually works. We need Karen Handel to help us do that.”
Handel said her experience, both as a politician and as someone who has lived in the district for nearly 25 years, sets her apart in the race. Ossoff, taking advantage of a federal law that states Congressional candidates do not have to live in the districts for which they run, lives in DeKalb County’s Northlake area, just outside of the district, which includes parts of Cobb, Fulton and DeKalb counties.
“Nancy Pelosi is out raising tens of millions of dollars for her puppet,” Handel said of Ossoff. “He’s on TV trying to convince everybody he’s reasonable. … But folks, talk is cheap. I am not about talk. I have a record of doing. … You know me. You trust us. You know my opponent (is) on TV talking about trying to create jobs. Well, folks, I’ve created jobs, not talking about (it).
“As CEO of the (Greater) North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, together with small businesses, we worked together to create jobs in north metro Atlanta, tens of thousands of jobs. He’s just talking about it. I’ve put my conservative principles to work as the chairman of the Fulton County Commission. When I came in, I faced a $100 million budget deficit. The Democrats, the friends of my opponent, what did they want to do? Raise your property taxes. But I was able to get a budget that balanced without raising your property taxes. …
“(As) secretary of state, … we cut (its) budget by nearly 20 percent, and I went to work on getting photo ID implemented in a sound, productive, fair way for the people of Georgia. Those are the kind of principles I will bring to the United States Congress.”
The May 15 rally is one of many campaign stops both candidates are making in the district as the runoff draws near. May 13, Ossoff held campaign canvass launches in Marietta, Roswell and Sandy Springs and also stopped by Tucker Day, that city’s annual celebration.
As Handel's rally closed, one attendee asked Ryan, as he walked off the stage, about “taking away $850 billion from poor people,” likely regarding the federal budget. Ryan did not respond.
Then, as music played on the public address system, the crowd drowned him out by chanting “USA! USA!”