MARIETTA — U.S. Rep. Doug Collins jumped into campaign mode at the Cobb County Republican Party’s headquarters on Saturday morning, addressing nationwide protests and touting his experience during the Cobb GOP’s first breakfast event since March.
Collins, the representative for Georgia’s 9th Congressional District and candidate for U.S. Senate, spoke to about 75 guests, including former Rep. Karen Handel, Cobb Sheriff Neil Warren and Cobb commissioner candidates Andy Smith and Fitz Johnson. In his speech, Collins highlighted his experience as an attorney, small business owner, pastor and congressman.
“I have spent seven and a half years fighting every day against the liberal establishment in Washington, D.C.,” Collins said. “For the last 18 months, I have watched what this country would look like if we turned it over to the Democrats.”
During those last 18 months, the Republican Party has controlled both the White House and the Senate.
Collins, 53, said he is running for Senate because of his three children, and he hopes to look toward the future rather than the past. The congressman said Georgia needs a senator who will serve agricultural workers in the south as well as technology employees in Atlanta.
“Georgia’s not changing,” Collins said. “We’re still inherently who we are. We’re conservatives. We have a great economic environment. We have the best place to do business, so people are coming here.”
He called on attendees to support his campaign and the conservative movement, saying he will stand up for individuals.
“We believe that people have the best ability to make for their lives, not the government,” Collins said. “And if we don’t stand up, then we’re letting the liberals take the message, and I refuse to do that. I’m asking you to join me.”
While addressing the crowd, Collins derided prominent members of the Democratic Party like Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, Rep. Adam Schiff of California and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He criticized Pelosi’s July 17 tweet referring to federal agents in Portland, Oregon as “stormtroopers,” saying “when they attack our officers, they attack each one of us and it’s got to stop.”
Collins said he is a staunch opponent to those Democratic Party leaders.
“If you don’t think that the liberals are not real happy with me, just go ask them,” Collins said.
Jason Shepherd, the chairman of the Cobb GOP, also highlighted Collins’ bouts with members of the Democratic Party. Shepherd said he and Collins were classmates at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. When they first met, Collins was a member of the Georgia General Assembly.
“Of course, Doug Collins finished up in the state Legislature when he successfully ran for Congress in the 9th Congressional District, and has been serving us on the House Judiciary Committee as ranking member,” Shepherd said as he introduced Collins. “We all remember the fight between him and Congressman Nadler on the impeachment (of President Donald Trump).”
In his speech, Collins said the violence from nationwide protests against police brutality has come to Georgia, specifically to Atlanta. He said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms “will not back up the Atlanta police department.”
The protests against systemic racism, ignited by the May 25 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, have taken place in all 50 states in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
After criticizing members of the Democratic Party, Collins turned his attention to Sen. Kelly Loeffler, the Republican incumbent competing with Collins in November’s special election.
“I will take a back seat to no one,” Collins said. “Especially one with no record who accuses me of not being a conservative.”
The congressman swiped at Loeffler’s anti-Collins advertisements, saying that they were not always truthful. Collins then said his campaign will not flood the airwaves with advertisements, but that his ads would be genuine.
“All you have to do is look at my record,” Collins said. “Look at our bills and look at the fight that we’ve been putting up for the last seven and a half years, but especially the last 18 months in the Judiciary Committee.”