Former businessman Sen. David Perdue (R.-Ga.) wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that he wants the foolishness to stop and he wants both his colleagues on Capitol Hill and Georgia Republicans to unite behind the party’s presumptive nominee: Donald J. Trump.
“Fortunately for our party, Trump is a nominee unlike anything we have ever seen. Based on everything we’ve witnessed to date, Mr. Trump is not going to walk into the Democrats’ traps or take their bait. He will play his own game, one that he intends to win,” wrote the former CEO of both Reebok and the Dollar General retail chain.
Here’s Perdue’s bottom-line — Trump “is the only true outsider running for president. Now, he can focus on dismantling the Republican Party’s real opponent, Hillary Clinton.”
Before the Georgia primary in March, Perdue pledged to support the GOP nominee.
Now, on the eve of the Georgia Republican State Convention, the senator is stepping up as a party leader to bring a dose of reality to the 2016 campaign and it is a message he will deliver personally when he attends the convention in Augusta this weekend.
“As Republicans, let’s not lose sight of our shared mission to change the direction of our country. That’s why we worked so hard to win the Senate majority in 2014. To affect real change, we must keep the Senate majority and win the White House in November,” Perdue said.
The key to Perdue’s success in the 2014 campaign was that he accepted that he was an outsider and he did not pretend otherwise, he said. “Through my own experience, I probably understand the Trump phenomenon and the new reality of this electorate better than most.”
“In my race, the establishment types said I wasn’t Republican enough. They warned the party faithful that I hadn’t paid my political dues and that voting for me would be risky. Never mind the fact I had spent my career running major companies and creating jobs, versus running for political office as a full-time job,” he said.
Perdue said he tossed out the old GOP play-it-safe playbook: “Instead of the usual Washington Beltway babble, I spoke plainly to people about their concerns with the economy and jobs, and their frustration with Washington.”
Like Trump, Perdue was attacked not because of his message, but because he was a new guy the establishment could not control.
“The antiquated tactics that were used unsuccessfully against me have been deployed against Mr. Trump, and the voters responded in similar fashion,” he said. “They ignored the preachy pundits, the ideology police, and the Washington establishment. They chose a different type of candidate because they believe to get different results, you have to send a different type of person to Washington.”
Meanwhile, the DC Beltway insiders completely missed both the political gifts of Trump and the anger and frustration in the electorate he was plugged into, he said.
“The undeniable talent that Mr. Trump displayed while navigating a massive 17-person primary will become even more evident in a head-to-head matchup this fall,” he said. “One by one, he picked off the best and brightest the Republican establishment had to offer and motivated more people to go to the polls in the primary.”
Now Perdue wants the focus to be on November.