Former Georgia Secretary of State and Republican Senate candidate Karen Handel dared Democrats in Georgia to play the “war on women” and “income inequality” cards on her if she emerges as the party’s nominee against Democrat Michelle Nunn.
Handel, whom former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed as a “fighter,” has been battling for second place with Rep. Jack Kingston ahead of Tuesday’s primary. Moderate businessman David Perdue has been the frontrunner, but if no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, the top two in Tuesday’s primary will go to a runoff in July. Reps. Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey have failed to gain traction.
Handel, the only candidate who has had positive momentum in the last month, has surged into second and has even been within the margin of error of first in some recent polls. And she said that Palin, seen as the North Star of the conservative movement, “started the cavalcade” of conservatives, like Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, RedState’s Erick Erickson, and Rick Santorum, who coalesced around her to help her combat her better funded challengers.
Appearing on Breitbart News Sunday with host and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon, the former Georgia Secretary of State said that even though the establishment is pouring in money into the race on behalf of Perdue and Kingston, the “grassroots and the people at the ground level need a voice “and they “cannot let the dollars drown out the voice of the people.”
“I have a track record of putting conservative principles in place,” Handel, who is the only candidate among the three who has run successfully for statewide office, said. She said she would relish the chance to go toe-to-toe with Nunn.
“I’d love to see Michelle Nunn try that on me,” Handel said in reference to the “war on women” and “income inequality” themes Democrats default to in tough elections.
Those liberal tactics could work against Perdue, though, who, as Breitbart News reported, was put under fire after he mocked Handel and said she was not qualified to serve in Congress because she lacked a college degree and had not lived abroad. Perdue forgot that “only 27.8 percent of Georgians over 25 have college degrees. The vast majority of Georgians, including Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), have just high school diplomas like Handel.”
Handel, who left an abusive home at the age of 17 and pulled herself up by her bootstraps, called Perdue’s remarks, for which he apologized after initially refusing to do so, “pretty degrading and demeaning” to Georgians and Americans.
Handel also mentioned that she could be an example of a Republican who got a good job and worked her way up the economic ladder due to less regulation and low taxes. And she also emphasized that Republicans need to also think more about American workers and “creating an environment where Americans have an opportunity to move up the economic ladder.”
As Breitbart News noted, the Cook Political Report had moved the Georgia Senate race to a toss-up from “lean Republican” after “candidates like Rep. Jack Kingston said that poor students should sweep cafeteria floors to get their lunches and another candidate, Rep. Phil Gingrey, defended Todd Akin’s infamous ‘legitimate rape’ comments from 2012.”
Another issue that threatens to lower the wages of American workers is amnesty, and Handel, who has signed an anti-amnesty pledge, said she hears “outrage” about illegal immigration on the campaign trail every day.
She said “we need to stop apologizing for being a nation of laws” and mentioned that Americans can’t just sneak into other countries without papers and not face consequences.
“I don’t support amnesty,” Handel said. “We need to be moving forward with swift and severe consequences not just for those who are here illegally but also for those who employ illegals to dry up the magnet.”
Handel said she can identify with regular voters in Georgia because she is used to being an underdog in life.
“I’m proud of what I have been able to achieve against some high hurdles,” Handel said. “Isn’t that what America is about?”
She also said the so-called “best and the brightest” haven’t done much in Congress to make the country better or government more effective.
“The offices of Congress are wallpapered with fancy degrees and advanced degrees and look at where we are,” she said. “We are 17 trillion dollars in debt and we are in a world of hurt.”
Handel said that Palin knows she’s “a fighter” and endorsed her because Pali felt there needed to be more people in Congress who are not only “unwavering conservatives” but will bring a lot of “common sense” to solve problems dealing with taxation, the debt, and overregulation.