A day after U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler lobbed two TV broadsides at Raphael Warnock, the Democrat swung back with a pair of attack ads of his own.
The first ad released Friday highlights the stock transactions Loeffler made shortly after a private January briefing on the worsening coronavirus pandemic.
The second frames the pastor as a “common-sense” candidate pushing for expanded healthcare access, economic equality and affordable prescription drugs for seniors.
The ads reflect Warnock’s urgency to rebut repeated attacks from Loeffler and her GOP allies trying to paint him as too radical for Georgia.
It’s a new dynamic for Warnock, the pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church. After he mostly avoided incoming fire during the general election, Loeffler and her supporters have leveled increasingly scathing attacks ahead of Jan. 5 runoffs likely to decide control of the U.S. Senate.
One of Warnock’s ads accuses her of “dumping” stocks after a Jan. 24 senators-only briefing on the coronavirus.
“Kelly is for Kelly,” the narrator says. “Warnock is for us.”
The fallout is more nuanced.
The U.S. Senate Ethics Committee dismissed complaints from watchdog groups questioning whether she engaged in insider trading, and her campaign said other officials closed investigations into the stock transactions without finding criminal wrongdoing.
In the second TV attack, Warnock delivers a direct-to-camera response to what he calls Loeffler’s attempt to stoke “division.”
“While she’s busy calling me names, let me tell you where I stand,” he said, detailing support for healthcare expansion and a livable wage.
“Kelly Loeffler may think that’s radical. I think it’s common-sense.”
About the Author
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.