Senator Perdue Talks One-on-One with The Advance
Before he left a rally in Uvalda bound for Hazlehurst on Saturday, Senator David Perdue made time for a brief interview with The Advance on board his Win the Senate, Save America tour bus. Regarding constituents’ concerns about voting issues emerging from the November 3 election the Senator encouraged early, in-person balloting in the January 5 runoff. Early voting began Monday and will continue until December 30. “In person voting will be handled in a fair and open way. We think the problem in November really had more to do with the absentee ballots.”
A week after the November 3 election, Senator Perdue called for embattled Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to step down. The Secretary was criticized for his general mismanagement of the election process and particularly singled out for his role in a consent agreement with Democrats who had filed a lawsuit seeking relaxation of signature verifications on absentee ballots. “I was the first one to call for his resignation. I knew that what was going on was not getting fixed,” Senator Perdue said of Raffensperger. He noted that election problems are still coming to light. “For example, in Fulton County not one absentee ballot was rejected because of an invalid signature. That is just impossible!” The Senator said of Democrats’ influence on the election, “We know what they were doing and we will have people who will be watching this time.” The Republican Party will have observers stationed at every precinct in the state.
“But we are not done. We are negotiating with the state Elections Board, the Secretary of State’s Office, and the state Attorney General’s Office. We are looking at all the issues from November and looking to fix those issues before January 5.” He added, “The same rules we have for Montgomery County will be the same rules for Fulton County. That was not the case in November.”
He referenced the emphasis on isolating the ballots of those who moved to the state after November 3 and documenting whether they are legally eligible to cast ballots.
“I want everybody to vote with confidence and to know their vote is going to be counted.” Not voting in the runoff as a protest against the issues of the November 3 election is not an option if constituents want Republicans to win the Senate races, he said. “What we have to do is to basically run the score up, get all the votes out, just like we did in November. That will offset all the things they tried to do in November.”
The Senator alluded to the rule in Georgia that requires candidates to amass 50% of the vote in order to win a race. The Senator earned a 2-point lead in the November 3 balloting, but still came up a few thousand votes short of meeting the rule requirements. “In most other states a 2-point win is a big win. It was a bigger win than many of my colleagues got who have been reelected,” he offered.
Commenting on his priorities once back in his Senate seat, Perdue singled out pandemic relief and national security as top concerns.
“It’s the first thing I will try to do,” he said of extending the CARES Act. “In a split government, there is a better chance of getting that done. What I have been trying to do for the last six months is (effect) an extension to the CARES Act to reprogram some of the money that has not been spent yet to put into the Paycheck Protection Program that has already saved a million and a half jobs in Georgia. We know those people are hurting,” he said of the state’s 174,000 small businesses adversely impacted by the health pandemic.
Other top priorities are curbing the national debt, rebuilding the military and continuing President Trump’s stance against China. As chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower, Perdue strongly advocates strengthening the military to meet the threats posed by China.
“I see a lot more challenge and pressure on the next president to continue the process of standing up to China,” Senator Perdue said. He referenced the cyber war being waged against the United States by China. “This is a crisis we have known about for a while. We saw them attack Equifax in Atlanta three years ago. They are the number one cyber perpetrator in the world. They have been stealing our technology for years.” The Senator noted that he lived in Hong Kong and Singapore during his career and knows what is at stake. “We can’t fix this until we stand up to them. That is what we did under Donald Trump. He was the first president to call them out on it. I want to continue that.”
Perdue emphasized that China still has not acknowledged its role in the global health pandemic. “They have not yet accounted for their responsibility in the COVID crisis. It originated there and they did not do what they should have done to keep it contained. It should have never gotten out of China.”