Democrat Jason Carter came out fighting in his response to Gov. Nathan Deal's sunny State of the State speech, calling the Republican's pitch for increased education funding nothing more than an election-year ploy.
Carter, a state senator from Decatur and the grandson of the former president, said the governor's failure to mention the middle class in his address was a "moral failure" and panned him for repeatedly touting a niche business magazine's endorsement of Georgia.
Carter proposed creating a separate education budget that would be protected from the tinkering of lawmakers, saying it would bring greater "accountability" to legislators.
And he sought to present a clear alternative to Deal's policies. "Trading in tomorrow for today is not conservative," he said. "It's reckless."
Carter mentioned his famous pedigree only in passing as he talked about his long lineage in Georgia. "The farmers in my family would say we're eating our seed corn," he said. "I was raised to believe we reap what we sow."