Columbus - What a difference a week made for Vice President Mike Pence, who last week rallied Georgia GOP voters with a “God bless Texas!”, but returned to separate rallies in Columbus and Macon on Thursday with a single focus — to get the Republican faithful to vote in the Jan. 5 Senate runoffs.
“It’s all about Georgia,” Pence said in Columbus.
Since Pence’s last trip to the state, when he cheered the Texas lawsuit that sought to throw out Georgia’s election results, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider the case. On Monday, the Electoral College confirmed Biden as the winner over President Donald Trump.
With the Trump administration’s time in office now winding down, Pence urged the crowd of hundreds Thursday to do everything possible to reelect Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.
“I came here today with one message,” Pence said. “It all comes down to Georgia. Stay in the fight.”
Pence is just one of dozens of political surrogates trekking to the state to help get out the vote for the January contests, which will determine control of the United States Senate. On Tuesday, President-elect Joe Biden stumped in Atlanta for Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock. President Trump rallied thousands in Valdosta for Loeffler and Perdue a week before that.
But Pence may be the most frequent flyer of all. His trip to the state Thursday marked his fourth in the runoff cycle for a total of seven rallies overall.
The vice president’s schedule is just one indication of how urgently Republicans need the Senate seats to maintain any real leverage in Washington over the next two years.
“Let’s send a message to Chuck Schumer and those Washington Democrats,” Pence said. “We’re going keep Georgia. We’re going to save the Senate. And then we’re going to save America!”
Along with talking up Loeffler and Perdue, Pence also made the case for the accomplishments he said the Trump administration had achieved in office, including being on hand for the “the beginning of the end” of COVID-19.
“This week, America witnessed the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic,” he said. “We made history, and the first coronavirus vaccine is being ministered in every state in the union.”
Before Pence took the stage on the tarmac of the Columbus airport, Loeffler and Perdue both warned the crowd that they are the only thing standing between Americans and a “radical socialist” future.
“We will see the first Marxist elected to Senate if we don’t win these races,” Loeffler said, referring to her opponent, Warnock. “Are you ready to show America Georgia is a red state?”
Agriculture Sec. Sonny Perdue kicked off the Columbus rally with the lone mention of what many Republican strategists see as their best argument to voters — the fact that Democrats will take over the White House in January, along with the House of Representatives, which Democrats already control.
“We don’t need a one-party government,” Perdue said. “We need a republic, man, and these two seats are what it takes to hold that.”
Although Pence had allowed that a Republican majority “could be” the GOP’s last line of defense against one-party rule, he never acknowledged that Biden won.
“As our election contest continues in courthouses across the land,” Pence said, “We’re going to keep fighting until every legal vote is counted. We’re going to keep fighting until every illegal vote is thrown out, and we will never stop fighting to make America great again.”
With that, the crowd broke into a victorious chant of, “Four more years!”