The week of February 14th, Perdue filed to run against Senator Warnock in 2022. Suddenly, on 2-23 he announced he would not run, saying it’s a personal matter. In his announcement, Perdue continued to declare that “Georgia is not a blue state.”  

Then, if his statement is factual, “Why isn’t Perdue running?” becomes the big question. Is the personal problem a messy scandal about to blow up? Or, as he has so often done in the past, is he just misleading voters and not running for some other reason? For example, his unelectability in a changing Georgia. 

First, let’s look at how he ran his 2020 campaign and 2021 run-off campaigns. As we all know, he was running against Jon Ossoff, a Democratic moderate. 

Yet, Perdue constantly painted Ossoff as a “radical.” For example, the Perdue/Loeffler correspondence that I received stated that electing Ossoff/Warnock would “eliminate 142,700” Georgia jobs, increase energy costs “$235 a month”; and cost every household “$65,000 annually.” However, Perdue (who always favors corporations over Georgians) pulled these outrageous lies from Big Energy corporate front organizations, like the totally biased American Petroleum Institute.  

Evidently, Georgians did not agree with Perdue’s premise that big oil and energy corporations are putting our public benefit before their profits. Texas deregulated its energy industry, leading those corporations to increase their profits by not winterizing their coal and gas plants. We all saw how that has turned out. Under corporate types like Perdue, we have seen the same preference for big business on the national level disguised as “cutting regulations”. 

Perdue also stated he was “improving quality, lowering costs and protecting your private healthcare”. Yet, the only thing he and his party ever did regarding healthcare was attempting to revoke the ACA (stopped by 1 vote, McCain, in the Senate), which hundreds of thousands of Georgians rely on for health insurance and protection from “preexisting condition” exclusions. He also made zero effort to get the Feds to pick up the 10% state matching portion so that the ACA could be expanded in Georgia with no impact on the state budget. 

He bragged that he “supported historic tax relief.” However, he failed to mention that Trump’s tax bill was designed primarily to lower taxes for wealthy people like him and corporations (who got 83% of the tax benefits). Or that he and Trump were responsible for tripling the annual debt to over $3 trillion annually before the pandemic 

Perdue stated Ossoff and Warnock were “too radical for Georgia.” He went on to say that with the Democrats in control of the Senate they would “pack the Supreme Court”; “Defund the police” “Enact the New Deal” and enact a “radical gun ban”. Obviously, Ossoff and Warnock are not for any of these proposals and none of this is true. 

Perdue’s 8 1/2 by 11 cards vividly portrayed how there would be “Riots. Looting. Anarchy. Police officers hunted down” under “Ossoff’s radical agenda.” Well, this did occur after Ossoff was elected, but it was Trump and a few GOP big shots promoting the insurrection at the Capital. Ossoff condemned it, as did Warnock. 

Georgians did not believe the malarkey coming out of the Perdue campaign. And for good reason in that he distorted the facts. Perdue lost against a relative novice, Ossoff. So, that’s one good reason for him not to run against Warnock, the first Black Senator from Georgia in modern times. 

But why then did he declare that he would? Maybe he still thought he could win, but then something blew up in his face. What could it be? Well, Perdue got caught up in the stock trading scandal at the start of the COVID crisis. Nothing ever happened under Bill Barr. However, with Garland as AG, could that investigation be reopened?  

Or is there a another more personal scandal lurking somewhere in the background? It was only after Trump ran for office that the Stormy Daniels affair became public. Does Perdue have something along those lines waiting to bite him?  

We just don’t know the answers to these questions. What we do know is that Perdue mislead Georgians as to his accomplishments, which were modest to say the least. And that he unfairly maligned two fine moderates during his 2020-2021 Senate race. Mr. Perdue, we are glad you withdrew. 

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Image Credit: the feature caricature of former Georgia Republican Senator David Perdue was created by DonkeyHotey (Flickr/Creative Commons).

Jack Bernard

Jack Bernard

Jack A Bernard is a retired SVP with a national healthcare corporation. He was Chair of the Jasper County, Ga Board of Commissioners and Republican Party. He was also on the Board of Health for Jasper County and is currently on the Fayette County BOH. Bernard has over 100 columns published annually, primarily in the South.