U.S. Sen. David Perdue honed his jean-jacketed outsider image with memorable TV spots. Gov. Brian Kemp had his shotgun splash. Now U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler is trying to join the pantheon of provocative Georgia TV ads with a new ad comparing her to a feared emperor.
In the ad, released Monday, a couple lounging on a couch compare notes about Loeffler’s conservative record backing President Donald Trump before a khaki-wearing actor remarks: “Yep, she’s more conservative than Attila the Hun.”
The screen darts to a re-imagining of the ruthless leader, who was ruler of the Hunnic Empire during a reign of terror that pushed back Roman expansion and conquered vast parts of Asia and eastern Europe.
“Humph hurr,” Atilla says from a makeshift throne.
“Fight China, got it,” answers a note-taker sitting at his feet.
“Heyllt garr,” Atilla commands.
“Attack big government. Yeah,” responds the lowly aide.
“Darr schfil,” Atilla answers.
“Eliminate the liberal scribes,” translates the staffer, before turning to the camera. “Uh oh.”
Then comes a narrator: “More conservative than Attila the Hun. Kelly Loeffler, 100% Trump voting record.”
Once, Loeffler was promoted as a candidate who could help win over wavering moderates and independents in Atlanta’s suburbs, particularly on-the-fence women. Now her campaign is tongue-in-cheek comparing Loeffler, a wealthy former financial executive, to a murderous despot from the 400s.
It’s a reflection of the dynamics of the messy contest. Loeffler has raced to define herself as the most conservative candidate in the race since Gov. Brian Kemp appointed her to the seat last year, hoping to prevent U.S. Rep. Doug Collins from outflanking her on the right.
(His campaign swiped at the Hun comparison, saying she thinks “conservatives are grunting, filthy, mass-murdering open borders atheist polygamists.”)
Loeffler faces the four-term congressman and 19 other challengers in a November special election with all candidates on the same ballot, and her route to a spot in a January runoff rests with conservative voters.
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About the Author
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.