Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., takes a selfie with President Donald Trump during the seventh inning of Game 5 of the baseball World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Washington.
Photo: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Photo: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

The Jolt: David Perdue was at Donald Trump’s side when the boos came

U.S. Sen. David Perdue was reportedly out golfing with Trump and colleague Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at Trump National Golf Club on Saturday afternoon, hours before Trump teased his announcement that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died during a U.S. military raid in Syria.

The Georgia Republican also joined the president, the first lady and a dozen GOP members of Congress at Game 5 of the World Series to watch the Washington Nationals take on the Houston Astros on Sunday night. The group was greeted with boos and chants of "Lock him up!" from baseball fans at Nationals Park. 

The boos only subsided after the camera cut to a shot of military members waving to the crowd. 

The crowd reaction was reminiscent of the mix of boos and cheers that echoed Mercedes-Benz Stadium when Trump attended the Georgia-Alabama national college football championship game in 2018. 

We haven’t heard yet what the Trump and Perdue chatted about, but a spokeswoman said he made it clear he would rather be watching the Atlanta Braves in the World Series. 

***

There was a not-so-nuanced difference in the reactions from Georgia’s two Republican senators to Sunday reports about the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the top leader of the radical Islamic terror group known as the Islamic State.

U.S. Sen. David Perdue put President Donald Trump front and center: 

“President Trump’s strategy in Syria sends a message to terrorists: You can run but you cannot hide. Al-Baghdadi proves that. Hats off to our special operations forces, intelligence officers, and all those involved in this mission. It’s a great day for America.”

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson did not, and included what might be considered a tutorial on the need for continued, reliable engagement:

“I applaud yesterday’s heroic actions by our U.S. special operations forces and intelligence services to root out and eliminate the top leader of the oppressive Islamic State terrorist group.

“While the threat posed by ISIS and other transnational terrorist organizations in the Middle East continues to persist, we must remain committed to sustained American leadership, in conjunction with our allies and partners, in the fight against terrorism in this very unstable region of the world.”

***

Don’t be surprised if you see U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler, wearing a pair of shades. The man’s famous.

Carter had a starring role in the “Weekend Update” portion of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” -- as one of several House Republicans who stormed the closed basement hearings on the impeachment inquiry. SNL spotlighted Carter saying:

“If a government can do this to the president of the United States, they can do it to you as well. You need to be scared. You need to be very scared.”

Replied Colin Jost:

“I don’t think the average American is going to be scared of losing their job for withholding aid to Ukraine.”

***

By now, you’ve probably heard that John Kelly, the former White House chief of staff, says he privately warned President Trump that hiring a “yes man” to succeed him would lead to impeachment. In hindsight, Kelly said he regretted his decision to resign.

What you may not have known is that Kelly made his remarks while at Sea Island, Ga., at a political conference hosted by the Washington Examiner.

***

A poll released over the weekend by NBC/Survey Monkey found that Georgians are split over the prospect of impeaching President Donald Trump, divided over his job performance and generally supportive of Gov. Brian Kemp.

The found that Trump is slightly underwater in Georgia, with a disapproval rating of 51% and an approval of 48% -- within the poll’s 3.6% margin of error. Voters were almost evenly divided over impeachment – 49% support and 50% oppose. And Kemp tallied a 63% approval rating.

An important note: It was an online poll of registered voters, which analysts view as less reliable than surveys conducted over the phone. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will publish a poll conducted by the University of Georgia next month that will shed more light on the mood of the electorate.

Here are some more takeaways from the NBC poll:

-- Georgia voters overwhelmingly support the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 that legalized abortion. About 58% of voters said they didn’t want the Supreme Court to overturn the ruling, while 39% want it thrown out.

-- Voters said the economy was the top political issue, followed by health care and government ethics. The environment, immigration and education also polled in the high single-digits.

-- Nearly 60% of those polled said they strongly approve or somewhat approve of the way the Georgia Legislature is handling its job. That figure dipped to 30% when it came to U.S. Congress.

-- About 60% of respondents said they’d be very willing or somewhat willing to pay higher taxes to improve public schools or to improve infrastructure in Georgia.

-- About twice as many Georgia voters strongly oppose removing Confederate monuments and statues from public spaces as do strongly support the idea.

***

This story probably piqued the interest of one of Perdue’s Democratic challengers, businesswoman Sarah Riggs Amico. From the Washington Post:

A top House Democrat has approached Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about adding legislation that would rescue certain union pensions to the pending North American trade pact, a sign of intense final-stage deal-making on the trade agreement.

Amico has made pension reform a signature aspect of her Senate campaign after her family’s trucking company sought bankruptcy protection due in part to $2 billion in potential pension liabilities.

***

Ethics watchdog William Perry is raising questions about a $100,000 loan made to the campaign of Republican newcomer Nicole Rodden in the 6th Congressional District. He recently filed a complaint with federal campaign finance regulators about the loan, which was in the name of Rodden’s husband Robert. Spouses are barred from making contributions in excess of $2,800 per election, including loans.

The Federal Election Commission pinged the campaign in search of an explanation in August. Rodden’s lawyer Doug Chalmers responded that the loan was “made almost entirely from personal funds of the candidate Nicole Rodden,” not her husband, and was thus kosher. He explains how Rodden initially transferred the money from a personal investment account that was in her name only and that her husband loaned the campaign less than $1,500. The campaign later filed an amended report attributing $98,500 of the loan money to Nicole Rodden.

Perry said he filed his complaint before he noticed the amended report but is still asking for documentation. “I honestly feel that since a mistake was made involving $100,000 (not just $100), and it was only corrected after a regulatory authority requested more information, that the proof should be made public, or at the very least, some form of proof that the FEC confirmed the source of the funds,” he wrote on his blog. The AJC got a look at Rodden’s financial statements and the campaign’s accounting appears to check out.

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