Loeffler mum on Trump-Kemp division, repeats talking points against WarnockSen. Kelly Loeffler with Rev. Raphael Warnock during the nationally televised APC debate on Dec. 6, 2020. (Special: Atlanta Press Club)
By Raisa Habersham
The popular phrase of the night was “Radical Liberal Raphael Warnock.” It was said about a dozen times by Sen. Kelly Loeffler during Sunday night Georgia U.S. Senate runoff debates.
Loeffler is vying to keep her appointed seat, helping Republicans retain control of the U.S. Senate. Democratic challenger Warnock is hoping he and Jon Ossof (who is running against Republican Incumbent David Perdue) can move Georgia further left.
Warnock and Loeffler touted talking points from their attack ads, with Loeffler repeatedly calling Warnock a socialist, criticizing his sermons as divisive and claiming he’s called police “thugs” and “gangsters.”
Loeffler also alleged Warnock would raise taxes by $2,000 for Georgia families. “That’s not what Georgians need to get through this pandemic and get our economy going,” she said.
Warnock, in turn, criticized Loeffler for putting her interests before that of Georgia residents by profiting off of the global health crisis.
Warnock has insisted his platform is centered around “ordinary people,” not corporations who received the bulk of COVID-19 relief while some households are still waiting on a $1,200 stimulus check. He also took shots at Loeffler’s stock trades before the pandemic crippled the American economy.
“She dumped millions of dollars of stock and played it down when she could help ordinary people,” Warnock said. “She didn’t do it, and the people of Georgia haven’t seen relief for months. So, she’s spending her millions of dollars focused on me, because she has no case to make for herself.”
The Justice Department has found no wrongdoing on the part of Loeffler and Senator David Perdue, who is running against Democratic Incumbent Jon Ossoff, as they’ve investigated each senator’s pre-pandemic stock trades.
While Loeffler repeated talking points, she avoided the elephant in the room: Donald Trump’s attacks on Gov. Brian Kemp and his urging to investigate unfounded voter suppression claims.
Loeffler was asked multiple times throughout the night if she would say Trump lost the recent election, only to repeatedly state that Trump had a legal right to a fair election, always stopping short of saying he lost.
Loeffler’s distancing herself from Trump also comes a day after the lame-duck president campaigned for Sen. David Perdue’s reelection in Valdosta. She also refused to get in the middle of Kemp and Trump’s bout, saying she is on the side of Georgians.
“I had a calling to public service to serve the people of Georgia,” she said. “Look, I have lived the American dream. I want to make sure every Georgian can do that.”
Today is the last day for Georgians to register to vote. Check on your status here.
Early voting in the Jan. 5 runoff begins Dec. 14.