Last week, Senate hopeful David Perdue, the Republican nominee in Georgia, ran into a little trouble. The candidate had already been damaged by criticisms of his private-sector background, which includes significant job losses through outsourcing, on top of factory closings, consolidations, and reduced work hours at U.S. facilities, but the story returned to front pages at an inopportune time.
In a 2005 deposition, Perdue was asked about his “experience with outsourcing,” to which the Republican replied, “Yeah, I spent most of my career doing that.”
Perdue and his campaign team have had a few days to come up with a compelling defense. This is what they came up with.
“Defend it? I’m proud of it,” he said in a press stop at The White House restaurant in Buckhead. “This is a part of American business, part of any business. Outsourcing is the procurement of products and services to help your business run. People do that all day.” […]In remarks Monday, he attempted to draw a line between his business decisions and Washington policies. “I think the issue that people get confused about is the loss of jobs,” he said. “This is because of bad government policies: tax policy, regulation, even compliance requirements.”
Unlike Perdue’s 2005 deposition, yesterday’s comments were on video – which means voters in Georgia will be seeing the Republican talk about his outsourcing pride quite a bit in the near future.
As for Perdue blaming government for the job losses he helped orchestrate, Ed Kilgore’s reaction rings true: “I dunno, Dave. The stretch run of a U.S. Senate campaign is a pretty bad time to be conducting a public education program in right-wing economics, or telling people they are ‘confused’ for disliking outsourcing.”
Also note, FiveThirtyEight ran a piece yesterday on competitive Senate races, noting that Georgia is often overlooked as a key contest – but it shouldn’t be.
Nearly all recent polling shows Perdue ahead in the race, but his advantage is quite modest and all of the polls were taken before the Republican started bragging about outsourcing American jobs – in a state that ranks 50th out of 50 on unemployment.