Greetings from Augusta, where I spent a second day following David Perdue's attempt to win a U.S. Senate seat, maybe even without a runoff. Today, I caught up with him in Augusta campaigning with Mitt Romney (and with Rick Allen, the latest Republican trying to unseat Rep. John Barrow).
My Thursday column about what I heard yesterday will be hitting MyAJC.com shortly (and this blog early tomorrow morning) and I'll have a take on the sight of Perdue, whom Democrats have derisively dubbed "Romney Jr.," standing beside Romney himself in Sunday's column. For now, I want to focus on something interesting Romney said today about why Georgians should elect Perdue.
The Democrat in this race, Michelle Nunn, has positioned herself as the work-together, get-things-done candidate in the mold of her father, former Sen. Sam Nunn. But without naming Michelle Nunn, Romney made the case that the best way Georgians can get things moving in a Congress that is gridlocked -- or, as Romney put it, "blockaded" by an obstinate Harry Reid in the Senate.
"I just know that when David Perdue is elected senator, I think you're going to see the end of the blockade in Washington," Romney told reporters after an appearance with Perdue and Allen that attracted a crowd of perhaps 200. "You're going to finally see pieces of legislation coming out of the House -- or even originating in the Senate -- you're going to see votes taken in the Senate, that move legislation to the president's desk. He'll sign some of them, he'll probably veto some of them; that's the way the process is supposed to work. It hasn't been working over the past several years."
A vote for Nunn, and in turn for keeping Reid in charge of the Senate, would in turn be a vote for more of the blockade we've seen over the past four years.
Romney also challenged the notion that Republicans' interest in businesses means they aren't interested in the poor or middle-income workers.
"That kind of baloney gets thrown around toward the end of the campaign, whether it was mine or whether it's David's. And I think the people of Georgia pretty much rejected that in 2012 when I was running, and I think they'll reject it again. ... I think the great majority of Americans understand that businesses and corporations work hard to grow, and as they do, they add jobs. And we want to add more jobs. When people in my party talk about small business, making a state more attractive for small business, or making the country more attractive for businesses, the reason they do so, the reason I do so, is not because of the businessperson at the top. I mean, that person's going to do fine. It's about the jobs that are going to be created by that enterprise. This is all about good jobs. And when you see good jobs growing, and more and more people having been hired to fill the corporate ranks with employees, then wages go up. And our party is dedicated to more good jobs, more people coming back into the work force as opposed to leaving it, and wages going up. That's what it's all about."
(I'm getting back on the road now, so I'll turn off moderation again to let the discussion go while I'm driving.)