Democrats’ relentless attacks on U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue’s business career have been at times strikingly similar to those lodged against presidential hopeful Mitt Romney two years ago.
In his second visit to Georgia in a month, Romney on Wednesday called the charges “baloney” and said Republicans’ national fortunes rest on the Peach State.
Romney also provided a reminder that he won this state two years ago.
“Governor, welcome to Georgia,” Perdue said to Romney as a crowd of hundreds roared. “These are our people.”
Romney spent most of his remarks bashing President Barack Obama. The former Massachusetts governor maintained that Perdue — and Republican U.S. House hopeful Rick Allen — would help break the Washington stalemate.
“We have to elect them to make sure we get a different course in Washington where America can solve our problems,” Romney said.
After a campaign stop in Macon on Wednesday, Nunn worked to keep the focus on her and Perdue only.
“Ultimately, David keeps wanting to make this election about other people, about running against the president, running against the other party,” Nunn said. “This is about a contest between David and between me. Do we continue the gridlock that David seems to want to perpetuate, or do we want to work together across party lines?”
Romney spent his remarks mostly bashing President Barack Obama, though he also sneaked in a dig against Hillary Clinton.
“You heard the other day that a certain leading Democrat said businesses and corporations don’t create jobs,” Romney said. “I happen to know that businesses and corporations aren’t the only places that create jobs. I’m sure there are a couple of other places somewhere. But in fact they do create jobs, and David knows how to do that.”
While Clinton appears to be gearing up for a presidential run, many Republicans want Romney to join her and make a third attempt at the presidency. He has resisted so far.
Perdue praised Romney’s case against Obama, which served to solidify Perdue’s central campaign theme: send him to Washington to fight Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
“The governor got it right: This is a failed presidency,” Perdue said. “And God bless him for standing up and telling the truth.”
Questions from reporters afterward focused on the similarity between the attacks on Romney two years ago and those on Perdue today — down to a shot-by-shot remake of an anti-Romney ad.
Though Perdue touts creating 20,000 U.S. jobs as CEO of Dollar General in the mid-2000s, he also spent much of his career as an overseas sourcing specialist at major companies. In addition, he presided over the bankruptcy of North Carolina textile maker Pillowtex, which has dogged Perdue twice over in the campaign: first for the jobs lost there, and second with the recent release of a 2005 deposition in which Perdue said he “spent most of my career” outsourcing.
Perdue has said Pillowtex was too far gone to be saved by the time he arrived in his brief stint as CEO, and that he worked to strengthen and save companies by finding competitively priced sources for goods and services.
Allen, too, has faced heat over contracts for his construction company in his race against U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta. Democrats’ advertisements on the subject have been labeled misleading.
In 2012, Romney’s career at Bain Capital came under scrutiny for the times when jobs were lost in Bain takeovers, so he spoke from experience when lashing out at the campaign tactic.
“Sometimes the Democratic foes recognize that they’re not succeeding on the issues and their track record isn’t so good, (so they) try to make a campaign about demonizing whoever the Republican is and try to take every discussion away from the issues and try to make it an attack,” Romney said.
“I think the people of Georgia have shown time and again they don’t fall for that baloney. They instead look at the issues. They recognize the character of the person, that kind of record. Twenty thousand jobs? I mean, that’s pretty darn impressive.”
The Nunn campaign, meanwhile, is not backing off its assault on Perdue’s career. It is putting money behind a series of Web ads linking people to Perdueresume.com, an unfriendly look at the Republican’s career, done as a fake resume.