When Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) announced his retirement, Republicans were pretty optimistic about keeping the seat. After all, Georgia is a state in the Deep South, led entirely by GOP officials. When David Perdue emerged from a crowded Republican primary field, he was assumed to be the frontrunner.
But Perdue’s race against Michelle Nunn (D) has proven to be far more competitive than expected, thanks to Georgia’s woeful jobs landscape – the state ranks 50th out of 50 in unemployment – and Perdue’s controversial private -sector background.
As recently as this morning, the Republican still finds it difficult to explain his record in business. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports today:
The biggest thing holding Perdue back from securing a Senate seat in the past couple months has been outsourcing. He faced another press question on the topic this morning, particularly as to why he gave a flat “no” when asked if he outsourced jobs when his companies did close plants as he increased jobs overseas. Said Perdue:“Sure, we closed down plants all the time. I mean, but it was never in direct relationship to things going on offshore.”
For months, Nunn and her allies have found it pretty easy to paint Perdue as an inexperienced version of Mitt Romney – his extensive outsourcing efforts have made the GOP nominee look woefully out of touch in a struggling state. Perdue’s preferred defense is that the public just doesn’t “understand” business well enough to appreciate the benefits of layoffs.
But that’s not exactly persuasive coming from a guy who’s boasted, more than once, about the record of job losses, factory closings, consolidations, and reduced work hours at U.S. facilities.
The fact that Perdue is still saying, literally the day before Election Day, “Sure, we closed down plants all the time,” only helps underscore why his campaign isn’t doing better.
American Bridge released an audio recording of the Republican Senate hopeful’s comments this morning: