Georgia senator ditches his own rally ahead of run-off election

2657
Advertisement

Sen. David Perdue's team said he was working in Washington, DC, and couldn't make the event.

Sen. David Perdue skipped a "Save Our Majority" rally for himself and fellow Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler Wednesday morning in Cobb County, Georgia — a once-red county he lost by 11 points on Election Day.

Perdue's wife Bonnie was in attendance at the rally, along with Loeffler, according to local media. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) headlined the event.

Perdue lost out in Cobb County on Nov. 3. Once a firmly red county, Perdue lost it on Election Day to Democratic opponent Jon Ossoff by 11 percentage points, more than 70,000 votes.

Advertisement

Both Perdue and Loeffler failed to garner a majority of the vote in their Senate reelection races earlier this month against Democratic opponents Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock, respectively. Both races will advance to a runoff election on Jan. 5.

By Wednesday morning, many on social media were noting Perdue's absence at the Cobb County rally.

"Um.... why isn't Senator Perdue at his own campaign rally?" tweeted Lauren Passalacqua, communications director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

She noted that it had been "more than a week" since Perdue had "been seen or heard in Georgia and he's got a runoff in 55 days."

Beau Evans, a political reporter for the Georgia Press Association, tweeted images of the densely packed indoor event, where only some attendees were wearing masks.

He noted that Bonnie Perdue had confirmed that the senator had been unable to make it to the rally but would not give any further details.

"Mrs. Perdue says she regrets Sen. Perdue is not here, but does not say where he is instead," Evans tweeted.

The Perdue campaign told the American Independent Foundation in an email that Perdue was unable to attend the event because he was working in Washington, and that he would be back for events later in the week.

A senior spokesperson noted that Bonnie Perdue was "delighted to represent him at this rally, as she has at other events across the state."

"They make a great team and will continue sharing our positive vision for our state and country," the spokesperson stated.

The campaign provided a media release dated Monday which indicated that only Rubio, Loeffler, and Bonnie Perdue were slated to attend the rally.

However, several conflicting media reports that day said that Perdue had in fact planned to attend the event.

The Gwinnett Daily Post published a piece by Evans on Monday stating: "On Monday, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., announced he plans to join Perdue and Loeffler for a joint rally in Cobb County this week, marking the first of what will likely be many high-profile political figures arriving in Georgia to muster support for the two competing teams of Senate contenders."

And a Miami Herald story last updated Monday at 6:39 p.m. stated that "Rubio will attend a 'Save Our Majority' rally with GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in suburban Atlanta on Wednesday."

The Miami Herald noted that Wednesday's rally would be "the first joint appearance of the two Georgia Republican Senate candidates since the Nov. 3 election ended with neither incumbent winning a majority."

The Perdue campaign did not give an explanation for the seeming discrepancy between the campaign's sole media release, dated Monday, and conflicting media reports from the same day announcing Perdue would be present at the event.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Perdue "did not attend the rally and has not conducted any interviews or staged any events since the Nov. 3 election, when he didn't appear at his own election-watch party."

Also absent from the rally: any mention of Donald Trump.

The Journal-Constitution reported that Rubio conspicuously did not mention Trump in his keynote speech.

Washington Post political reporter Dave Weigel tweeted that Rubio spoke mainly about the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program.

"Rubio's remarks at this rally are largely about PPP and the CARES Act, and the threat of Ossoff/Warnock “voting the party line,'" Weigel tweeted on Wednesday. "(Nothing, in other words, about whether the election was fair, which Perdue and Loeffler focused on this week.)"

Weigel seemed to be referring to Perdue and Loeffler's joint statement Monday calling for the resignation of the Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for alleged "failures" in the Georgia election.

This story has been updated to include further details on the Perdue campaign's initial media advisory for the event.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.