Georgia Senatorial Republican nominee David Perdue clashed with the state’s Democratic Senatorial nominee Michelle Nunn on Tuesday night as the two debated topic ranging from immigration to national security. Georgia campaign politics include debate “throw downs” in which campaigns organize their most enthusiastic supporters from all over the state to rally for their party’s nominee. This year was no different.
Tuesday night’s debate forum, which also included Libertarian nominee Amanda Swafford, was a contest of wills even before the candidates walked on to the stage. As the Perdue camp marched through Reaves Area waving signs, Nunn supporters entered with large bright shiny signs, too. Both groups hollered and baited one another until the debate started and both groups engaged in heckling of the other side’s nominee.
At one point, the debate moderator, CBS affiliated reporter Frank Malloy, could barely hear the candidates over the crowd noise. “Look, I can’t even hear what they’re saying,” he said to the crowd. “And in order for me to be able to find out whether there’s time for rebuttal, I need to be able to hear if they’re attacking one another. And I think our panelists are having a little trouble hearing right now too. So we’re going to have to move on but I love your passion.”
Nunn hit Perdue several times over his 2005 remarks regarding outsourcing of jobs, while Perdue reminded the crowd that Nunn would be a “rubber stamp” for the “Harry Reid and Barack Obama agenda.”
“I have heard my father say many times that he would never pass a single piece of meaningful legislation without Republican support and I agree with that. I believe that we have to have bipartisanship. I will tell you, when David was asked if there was a single Democratic idea he could support, he failed to think of one. That’s not what we need. I do believe we can send people to Washington to work across the aisle. In fact the only way we’re going to change Washington is through leadership and through people focused on relationships and things like campaign finance reform–again David has rejected that”
“I don’t know about y’all but I’m getting a little bored hearing this ‘I’m going to work across the aisle’, when nobody on the Democratic side has decided to work across the aisle with Republicans in the United States Senate. Her first vote will be for Harry Reid as senate majority leader,” Purdue said, adding that Nunn will not “bite the hand that feeds her.”
“I’m not sure that he recognizes that he is not running against Harry Reid or Barack Obama,” Nunn responded. “He’s running against me.”
Perdue shot back, “Michelle I have a lot of respect for you, but you’re dead wrong. I’m absolutely running against Barack Obama and Harry Reid.”
Nunn and Perdue also clashed on the Affordable Care Act. Nunn believes adding more tiers of health care coverage and extending tax credits to small businesses can fix the ACA.
Perdue, however, says the ACA needs to be repealed and replaced, saying the law is the reason for rising health care costs, unemployment, and less access to health care, noting issue pertaining to the law should be delayed.
It is “one of the worst laws that has ever been passed in the United States’ history,” he said.
Nunn also supports the Senate’s immigration reform bill, while Perdue opposes it, because it “did not define amnesty properly” and gave the Department of Homeland Security “discretion” about securing the southern border.
Nunn and Perdue are scheduled to debate again on October 17.