Political Insider

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George H.W. Bush endorses David Perdue as 'independent voice' in Senate race


George H.W. Bush endorsed Republican David Perdue in the race for Senate today, following a weekend meeting at the former president's Maine home.

The move is no surprise to anyone who has been watching the race.

Democrat Michelle Nunn has invoked her ties to the elder Bush in ads and campaign rhetoric. Earlier this year, the former president earlier said he wouldn’t endorse the Democrat in her Senate bid. And in June he sent a fundraising letter urging GOP donors to come to the aid of Perdue, a former Fortune 500 executive.

In Bush's /photo/1">statement endorsement Perdue, which you can find in the tweet below, the former president says he has lost confidence in the Democratic leadership of the Senate -- which Bush himself presided over as vice president -- and heralds Perdue as an "independent voice for Georgia while working for positive solutions to our toughest challenges.”

It will make for some awkward upcoming events. Nunn is the chief executive – though currently on leave – of Points of Light Foundation, the nonprofit service organization that the former president helped start. The ex-president’s son, Neil Bush, still chairs the board.

"That experience - running President Bush's organization that helps millions of people improve their lives and their communities - is a central part of who I am and the kind of Senator I will be," she said.

Nunn's backers pointed us to this YouTube video where Bush says he is "lucky" to have her run Points of Light.

And there's reason for some squeamishness among Perdue's camp, too. He and his allies have attacked Nunn, using phrases gleaned from the 144-page series of memos  leaked from her Senate campaign, that highlight the Nunn campaign’s concerns about a Points of Light connection to a charity that has ties to Hamas, the militant group that has long battled Israel.

Perdue's campaign, at this very moment, is attacking Nunn in the below ad that said Points of Light "gave money to organizations linked to terrorists." Politifact has parsed those attacks here.

The point being that the attack on Nunn reflects on the Bush family as well.


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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.