President Donald Trump called Democrat Jon Ossoff a "tax-raising pro-illegal immigration Democrat" who will work to thwart him in a robocall released Friday supporting Republican Karen Handel in Georgia's 6th District race.
The 90-second call is the latest move by Trump's administration to help Handel as recent surveys, including an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll published Friday, show her trailing the 30-year-old former congressional aide in the June 20 runoff.
Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who was in town Friday, have both held fundraisers for her. And Trump previously recorded a robocall and sent a flurry of tweets condemning Ossoff ahead of the April 18 vote.
In Friday’s call, paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee, Trump calls Handel “a small government tax-cutting conservative” and said she’s a “terrific woman.”
“We’ve done great things so far, but all of our progress creating jobs, growing our economy and cracking down on illegal immigration will be stopped if Nancy Pelosi wins and puts her guy in your congressional seat,” Trump said. “He’ll raise your taxes and crime will surge.”
Ossoff’s campaign had no immediate comment on the robocall, but he said in April that Trump’s Twitter attacks were “misinformed.” Ossoff has called for an “aggressive simplification” of the tax code and an immigration package that provides a path to legal status for those in the country illegally without felony records.
He opposes plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but said he will work with Republicans to nix the medical device tax, offer small business tax credits and increase competition in the insurance market across state lines.
Ossoff launched his campaign in January pledging he would “stand up” to Trump, and he attracted support from liberals and other Trump critics around the nation who helped him break fundraising records. He’s been less vocal in his criticism of Trump recently as he tries to woo both Democrats and independents.
NRCC spokeswoman Maddie Anderson said Trump's support has been "critical" to the GOP efforts to hold the seat, which both parties are desperate to win. Republicans have long represented the 6th District, but Ossoff’s record-shattering fundraising and strong performance in recent polls have some in the GOP hunkering down.
Trump’s call was part of an intensifying Republican get-out-the-vote effort in the final stretch of the race, the most expensive U.S. House contest in the nation's history.
“Vote now. Do it. Vote now,” he said, adding: “Karen Handel will stop the liberal Democrats radical, really, radical agenda. And I want to tell you, when you look at it, it’s not even believable what they want to do. Most importantly she’ll help me make America great again.”