« BACK  |  PRINT

RS

MEMBER DIARY

Fight for the Senate: GOP Primary debates for GA and SC

VIDEO AND ANALYSIS

This past week we had the first primary debates in Georgia and South Carolina.  Let’s start out with the South Carolina debate. (Click on link and scroll down)

VIDEO OF FULL DEBATE 

My immediate first impressions were that Lee Bright and Bill Connor both stole the show.  Both of these men articulated conservatism very well in every respect both socially and fiscally.  They also seem to have a very strong Libertarian appeal.  They have the depth and experience to be a great US Senator for the Palmetto State.  Bill Connor had a pocket constitution he was waving around the whole time and at first I thought this would be a lame prop but it turned out to really work for him.

The first time I heard Nancy Mace on the Glenn Beck radio show it was an abject disaster.

Nothing really has changed since her last performance with Beck at this debate.  She comes across as an empty suite with offering just talking points.  Now I know there’s a segment in the Tea Party that likes her and you see a lot of her fans on social media promoting her.  She was the first one to step to the plate in the primary before the other candidates so that probably has a lot to do with it.

The other big factor regarding Nancy Mace is her history with Will Forks that Erick Erickson strongly expressed in a RedState article called “No Way In Hell Will I Support Nancy Mace”

 “Count me out. The revisionist history going on about Nancy Mace’s record is a bit too much for me and the actual history disqualifies her in my mind. Nancy Mace has been making the rounds of conservative talk radio and blogs lately with so many eager to beat Lindsey. One of the things she is starting to get some heat over, and rightfully so, is her relationship with Will Folks.

This is a very good thing. But her response to it is to basically brush it off as Will Folks being a “client” and just one of many. That’s nonsense. They were business partners. She was co-owner of the website he used and continues to use as the platform for his stories about Governor Nikki Haley.   And she served as his “spokesman” in response to all press inquires when he started smearing Nikki Haley with allegations of an affair. She was his mouthpiece; she spread those stories with her own name.

There is no way in hell I would have put her on stage at the RedState Gathering when that stage would be shared by Governor Nikki Haley and I have no intention of supporting anyone who was not only involved in that sordid mess, but is now trying to claim clean hands when she co-owned that website.”

As this primary continues and we get the opportunity to see all of these candidates, I believe Lee Bright and Bill Connor will continue to shine and outperform Nancy Grace and Richard Cash.  Richard Cash also came across as very flat in that debate.   Cash seems like a solid conservative guy but when you contrast him with Bright and Connor there is no comparison.  In the debate Cash mentioned that veterans should of left the barricades alone at the memorials during the shutdown and it did not make him look good.  You get the sense this statement was not well thought out and is typical of someone who is not ready for prime time.

There are several conservatives including Erick Erickson, that have reservations about this race altogether because of fundraising and going up against Lindsey Graham’s war chest.  I interviewed Consultant Rick Shafton who was a part of Steve Lonegan’s campaign.  Rick believes there is no way that Lindsey Graham wins this race and believes unless Graham’s challenger is a really flawed candidate he doesn’t see Graham re-elected.

If you missed Saturday night’s debate in Adel between the Republican Senate candidates, there is a video of the event. It was created by the online Korean news service News & Post, run by S.K. Hong, that features things of interest to Korean Americans.

For those of you not fluent in Korean, the opening title reads, “Georgia GOP U.S. Senate First Debate.”

In the Georgia primary over the weekend there are 8 Candidates right now competing for Saxby Chambliss’ seat.  They are Art Gardner, Karen Handel, Paul Broun, David Perdue, Derrick Grayson, Eugene Yu and Jack Kingston and Phil Gingrey who wasn’t present.  Martha Zoller moderated this debate who I talked to extensively with about  it.  

Art Gardner is an attorney from Atlanta who is an openly social liberal on gay marriage and abortion.  His tone was a lecturing tone and very much a pandering tone.  Somehow his thinking is that we can win hard dem college students by going full pagan.  He thinks that the only way for the Republicans to survive is to stay away from all social issues.  The now retired Neil Boortz who’s been a fixture in Atlanta for the past 20 years on talk radio WSB had an epic social conservative rant on Sean Hannity’s show. He blasted the GOP on social issues and hammered Paul Broun’s statements and stances on social conservative issues.  Well, it looks like Art Gardner must be a Boortz fan.   He’s taking Neil’s advice to heart.  Everyone in the state agrees, there’s no way Art Gardner ever gets elected in a state like Georgia or even comes close to winning with his anti-social conservative stances.  How’s that elect-ability working out for ya there Boortz?  Go back to worshiping Baal and while you’re at it why don’t you throw your endorsement behind Barabbas for 2016.

Karen Handel who I talked to on my show, is the candidate I’m supporting and even got the bumper sticker to prove it. Here’s my interview with her.  

I hope to help Karen Handel with phone calls and any other way I can help.  During the debate Karen talked extensively about her past accomplishments as an elected official with balancing budgets without raising taxes. She also highlighted her time in the private sector .  Her debate performance focused on her record as a conservative candidate with proven results.  In my opinion she’s articulate, a strong pro-life advocate and will be a great candidate to join conservatives like Cruz and Lee in the Senate.

Paul Broun definitely stood out in this debate.  He fought the hardest against Obamacare with the need to repeal it and offered up solutions to fix it.  He’s earned his endorsement from Ron Paul with his belief in Constitutional government.  He has a Constitutional litmus test on every vote he casts.  He talked of eliminating the EPA, IRS and the Department of Education.  His performance was bold and strong for sure.  You get the sense that many of the candidates at this debate are just talking about reforming or fixing government.  Paul talks of gutting and getting rid of government bureaucracies.  If that’s the case Will, then why are you supporting Handel and not Broun?  I’d actually be happy with either Handel or Broun.  Broun is a bomb thrower which I don’t have a problem with.  A few months ago he did several talk shows and I don’t think he’s done a good job at answering his critics.  If your going to bomb throw you better back it up.  Don’t start talking about how you want to focus on bi-partisanship when they ask you about your past statements.  Answer the critics and give a good answer of why you said what you said.    If he continues with this trend, the media is going to eat him alive.   I believe Handel is just as strong on life and small government as Broun, but Karen can more effectively articulate that message and has the experience to unite conservatives.

David Perdue is a relative of Sonny Perdue and has owned several thriving businesses.  I think that’s all people actually know about him.   People are going to naturally tie him to Governor Sonny Perdue.  David appeared a little desperate in this debate in trying to get noticed.  I really didn’t learn anything new about David from this debate and didn’t get the sense of what he would do if he was a U.S. Senator.    My facebook friend Stuart Griffin had a great post.  

“I just got a call from the David Perdue for US Senate campaign to ask me to be at the Bibb County GOP meeting where he will be speaking. His family brought “Common Core” into Georgia, which is destroying the minds of children all over the state. OH STUART WILL BE THERE…OH YEAH”

I think it’s a fair question.  Sonny Perdue bears a lot of responsibility in getting Common Core to Georgia and it’s worth finding out David Perdue’s opinion on this.

Derrick Grayson the only black candidate and newcomer to the race and has never won elected office.  He made a huge splash with thunderous applause.  After David Perdue’s closing speech about reaching out to “African American” clergy and churches,  Grayson says whatever you do please don’t call me an African American.  The anti-PC moment was huge.  The crowd went nuts.    The positive comparison to Grayson and Herman Cain are very evident here.   Derrick seems to be able to connect with people and speak their language and has the same happy warrior spirit that Herman Cain has.  He blasted the Food stamp program tied to the Farm Bill and actually set the tone for that topic for other candidates.   You can’t help but like this guy.  All the candidates can learn from him.

Eugene Yu is a Korean American who is also running for the US Senate.  Mr. Yu seems like a very good conservative guy from what he had to say at this debate.  I hate to say this but I believe his thick Korean accent is not going to allow him to connect with voters and get his message out.  I thought his personal experience and his love for America and it’s opportunities was very admirable and that passion showed in this debate.

And finally we get to Jack Kingston.  Kingston so far, is the clear establishment choice.  He has all the money and backing from DC.  He talked about runaway spending and also attempted to push back in this debate on the latest media reports about him in regard to using congressional perks he once condemned.

From the Daily Caller:

When Georgia Republican Rep. Jack Kingston first ran for congress in 1992, he “blasted Congress for its many perks and exemptions to the laws it passes,” saying, “Our government doesn’t live in the real world,” according to the Savannah Morning News.

Now, Kingston, who is running for Senate, is under fire for the perks and privileges he enjoys as a congressman.

In December, Kingston suggested that children from low-income families who are eligible for the federal school lunch program pay some nominal fee or do chores “to instill in them that there is, in fact, no such thing as a free lunch.” The comment drew huge amounts of criticism at the time, and reignited this week when WSAV, a Georgia television station, reported on the thousands of dollars worth of free meals that Kingston received during his term in Congress.

This week, Kingston took advantage of another privilege: franking, which allows members of Congress to send mail to their constituents without paying for postage. Instead, the postage is paid for by taxpayer funds . Franking is another perk that Kingston once disavowed.

When Kingston first ran for Congress in 1992, he called for “an end to most franking privileges,” according to the Savannah Morning News.”

 

It tells me that candidates are going to be defining Jack Kingston very early in this race.  It’s also evident that this isn’t a result of great investigative reporting from the media but opposition research leaked to the media from a candidate’s office.  There are more fireworks to come for sure.  Kingston went out of his way to talk about how he voted against Bush’s bailouts, however it’s worth noting that he has surrendered on Obamacare, which Daniel Horowitz pointed out this past November.

“Sadly, the recent comments by Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) suggesting that we should help fix the law serve as a vivid illustration of why we failed the battle to defund the law:

“A lot of conservatives say, ‘Nah, let’s just step back and let this thing fall to pieces on its own.’ But I don’t think that’s always the responsible thing to do,” he added.

“I think we need to be looking for things that improve healthcare overall for all of us. And if there is something in ObamaCare, we need to know about it.”

Kingston was speaking prior to a field hearing in Gainesville, Ga., of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight focused on ObamaCare.

While he had some criticism for the law — he said he believes the demand on Medicaid could overcrowd the system — he also expressed hope that Democrats would bring to the hearing some good feedback they’ve received on ObamaCare.” [The Hill]

Good feedback?  According to the latest polling on Obamacare, Americans disapprove of the law 65-32%.  Nothing in the country ever polls worse than that.  Almost as many people believe in UFOs.”

Don’t believe this liar.  It’s also worth noting at the close of the debate.  Kingston offered 6 things that he would do if he got elected to the US Senate.  None of those 6 things included Repealing and replacing Obamacare.

 

Get Alerts