President Donald Trump said he plans to hold a rally in Georgia in early December on behalf of Senator David Perdue (R-GA) and Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), both of whom are running against Democratic challengers in a pair of January special elections.
Trump teased his plans during brief remarks at the White House on Thursday, saying he would travel to Georgia on “Saturday night” and might even go twice because of the importance of the races.
Trump called Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff, who is running against Perdue, a “lightweight” who “doesn’t deserve to be there,” specifically invoking his failed 2017 House bid. “The other one,” said Trump in reference to Loeffler’s opponent Raphael Warnock, “is either a communist or a socialist. I can’t figure that one out yet, but he’s either a communist or a socialist, probably a communist. This is not for Georgia.”
I’m excited to welcome @realDonaldTrump back to Georgia next Saturday for a rally with @Perduesenate & me! We will ALWAYS have his back — and I’m so honored he has ours! #gapol #gasen pic.twitter.com/7it5FYEuSP
— Kelly Loeffler (@KLoeffler) November 27, 2020
Trump’s criticism of Warnock appears to be in part a reference to reports about an event in 1995 in which a church where Warnock was a “junior member” of the staff hosted communist dictator Fidel Castro.
Asked about the event by CNN’s Jake Tapper, Warnock said, “I was a youth pastor. I had nothing to do with that program. I did not make any decisions regarding the program. I have never met the Cuban dictator, and so I’m not connected to him.” Pressed on the whether he understood “why people would be appalled by anyone celebrating Fidel Castro,” Warnock said, “Well, absolutely. And I never have. What I’m putting forward in this race is American values.”
Although major media outlets and elections trackers have already projected Joe Biden as the winner in the presidential election, Trump also suggested the race was “far from over.” (The Electoral College will officially elect the next president on December 14, 2020.)
Vice President Mike Pence recently joined Perdue and Loeffler in Georgia to campaign on their behalf at two “Defend The Majority” rallies, one in Canton and another in Gainesville.
“For all we’ve done together, for all we have yet to do, we need the great state of Georgia to defend the majority, and the road to a Senate Republican majority goes straight through the state of Georgia,” the vice president told the crowd in Canton.
With Senate Republicans currently holding fifty seats in the senate, Democrats will have to pick up both Georgia Senate seats from Loeffler and Perdue in order to retake the Senate majority. Should Republicans lose both seats, under a Joe Biden administration, current California Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) would serve as the tie-breaker.
“The Republican Senate majority could be the last line of defense for all that we’ve done to defend this nation, revive our economy, and preserve the God-given liberties that we hold dear,” the vice president remarked in his Georgia speech.
Back in early November, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told a crowd of New Yorkers that taking the two Georgia Senate seats from Loeffler and Perdue and electing Rafael Warnock and Jon Ossoff would be a step toward changing the country.
“Now we take Georgia, and then we change the world,” said Schumer on the streets of New York City. “Now we take Georgia, then we change America.”
Chuck Schumer on the streets of NYC
“Now we take Georgia, then we change America!”
David Perdue in May ‘19: “The road to socialism will never run through Georgia” pic.twitter.com/x1Wpeh3nU6
— Jesse Hunt (@JJHunt10) November 7, 2020