Perdue on Democratic Opponent: ‘I Don’t Think It Matters Who They Put Up’

Perdue visits Kia plant on heels of rosy jobs report in Georgia

Sen. David Perdue (R., Ga.) expressed confidence about his reelection hopes Monday, saying he didn't think it mattered who the Democrats nominated because they'd embrace a far-left agenda.

During his visit to West Point, Ga., to tour a Kia manufacturing plant, the CBS-Columbus affiliate asked Perdue about his possible challengers in 2020. Among them is Teresa Tomlinson, the former two-term mayor of nearby Columbus, but Perdue didn't mention her name when asked about the opposition.

"Frankly, I don’t think it matters who they put up," Perdue said. "They’re going to be supportive of this radical socialist agenda that you hear the Democratic presidential nominees talking about, and members of the Democratic Party in the Senate have been talking about for the last few years. I am just focused on doing my job right now."

The National Republican Senatorial Committee put a billboard up in metro Atlanta declaring Tomlinson, who supports impeaching President Donald Trump, "too liberal" for Georgia. Tomlinson fired back that Perdue's line about socialism was tired.

"That is a 20th-century tactic and I am running a 21st-century campaign," Tomlinson told WRBL.

Perdue, who is seeking a second term, touted the jobs created by Kia, a South Korean car manufacturer, since it opened its plant in West Point in 2009.

"As one of the two U.S. senators here, I am so grateful that these guys came here and made the investment, over a billion-dollar investment they have made here, so far, employed a lot of people in this part of Georgia," he said.

Perdue's visit came on the heels of an excellent July jobs report for Georgia. Its unemployment rate is at 3.6 percent, almost matching an all-time low of 3.4 percent set in 2000. Its total of 4.62 million jobs is an all-time high, 11Alive reported.

Tomlinson and Clarkston (Ga.) mayor Ted Terry are the only two announced candidates for the Democratic Senate nomination in Georgia. Others who could announce are former congressional candidate Jon Ossoff, who lost the special election Sixth District race in 2017, and Sarah Riggs Amico, who lost her lieutenant governor's race last year.

The nomination is wide-open following the decision of failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams to not run against Perdue, despite aggressive lobbying by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.). Abrams would have cleared the field if she chose to run, after getting more votes than any Democrat in state history in her close loss to Republican Brian Kemp.