David Perdue on the pair of four-letter words missing from the presidential debate

Hempstead, N.Y. – U.S. Sen. David Perdue lamented the absence of two four-letter words in the presidential race, and he wasn't making any predictions about what a candidate might let slip at the first presidential debate.

In an interview at Hofstra University hours before Monday's debate, Perdue talked of a "four-letter word that no one's talking about - and that we're devoid of in this country - and that four-letter word is hope."

“This isn’t about somebody winning the debate or looking good or sounding good," said Perdue, arguably the highest-profile supporter of Donald Trump in Georgia. "People back home want to see a direction for the country."

Though that sounds downright like President Barack Obama, we told Perdue we were surprised he didn’t invoke another four-letter word he often speaks about: Debt.

“I’m coming to that. There was one question in 26 hours of debate about the national debt,” said Perdue, adding: “This is a huge miss in this campaign. Because honestly we all want to grow the economy. And growing the economy is one of the first things you’ve got to do to solve the debt crisis. But you’ve got to save Social Security, you’ve got to save Medicare and Medicaid … and you have to get at this spiraling nature of healthcare costs.”

A Trump administration, he said, would help rein in the national debt by starting to unravel Obama’s healthcare overhaul. And Trump, he said, should come out swinging in the final weeks of the campaign to assail Obamacare and other Republican bugaboos.

“Some people want him to be a fighter. I’m one of those,” he said. “It’s time that he stands up and nails the Democrats for failing the very people they claim to champion: The working poor and the working middle class.”

The rest of our debate coverage:

More: How to watch Monday’s presidential debate – and what to watch for

More: Nathan Deal’s advice for Donald Trump’s debate: ‘He has to be nice’

More: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are deadlocked ahead of first debate

More: Behind the curtains at Hofstra University’s presidential debate

More: Where to catch the debates in Georgia

More: Why this year’s presidential debate could be more pivotal than usual

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.