‘The original outsider’ Perdue unleashes new ad campaign
Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., arrives at the Capitol in Washington during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
David Perdue won his U.S. Senate seat with the help of a catchy, provocative ad campaign. He’s trying to keep it with a no-frills, direct-to-camera message that addresses the movement for racial justice and slams his Democratic opponent.
The first-term Republican on Wednesday released his first volley of ads this election cycle, and both offered a different approach from the TV spots that dominated the 2014 campaign.
Now one of the most prominent politicians in Georgia, Perdue has little need to introduce himself to voters.
Instead, he faces a different challenge: Polls that show a tight race with Democrat Jon Ossoff and a deadlock between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden in Georgia.
The first spot, called “Justice,” invokes the stalled Republican effort to overhaul law enforcement policies in the wake of the demonstrations triggered by George Floyd’s death while in police custody. Said Perdue:
"Do we need police reform? Absolutely. But is defunding the police the answer? Absolutely not. Our officers need to look more like the communities they serve. De-escalation training is a must. Body cameras would help. Real police reform will make all of our neighborhoods safer and ensure justice for all. We need to put politics aside and get this done."
The other ad, “Patriot,” warns of the threat posed by the “radical left” and suggests Ossoff and other partisans threaten American exceptionalism. More from Perdue:
"We are the shining city on the hill. Many Americans have died defending it. Now it's up to us to protect what the rest of the world envies: Economic opportunity for everybody. Limited government. Individual liberty. I will not let Jon Ossoff destroy the American dream for our children and our grandchildren.
In a statement on Wednesday, Ossoff spokeswoman Miryam Lipper accused Perdue of downplaying the threat of the coronavirus and specializing in “destroying the American dream when he made his fortune outsourcing American jobs.”
“David Perdue should run an ad explaining to his constituents why he always puts his own interests ahead of ours,” she said.
Neither ad mentions Trump, Perdue’s top Republican ally.
Both end with a slow-motion image of Perdue in what appears to be the same jean-jacket from the 2014 campaign, collar popped, as he surveys a grassy field.
Back then, the slogan that surfaced on the screen at the ad’s final seconds read simply: “The Outsider.”
With nearly six years in the U.S. Senate under his belt, Perdue’s ads this cycle close with a slightly different kicker: “The Original Outsider.”