By Walter C. Jones
Morris News Service
ATLANTA — The main subjects of Sunday’s Senate debate weren’t in the television studio where it occurred during a live, statewide broadcast.
Democrat Michelle Nunn, Republican David Perdue and Libertarian Amanda Swafford seemed to talk less about each other in the debate organized by the Atlanta Press Club and more about President Barack Obama and the candidates’ past employees. Perdue hammered away on his point that Nunn will be a “rubber stamp” for the unpopular Democratic president while she kept jabbing at Perdue’s career specializing in outsourced suppliers.
Nunn chided him, saying he should run for the White House if he wanted to change Obama’s policies and that she parts ways with the president on issues like the Keystone Pipeline and repealing parts of the Affordable Care Act.
“I do not agree with the president as some kind of rubber stamp,” she said.
“That’s not what the president is saying,” Perdue countered, pointing out that Obama told an audience on an Atlanta urban radio station that blacks needed to turn out and vote so Nunn could support his agenda. He also pointed out that Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton are campaigning for Nunn, calling her a handpicked Washington-style Democrat.
“Do you really think she is going to bite the hand that feeds her?” he asked.
In her repeated attacks, Nunn referred to a lawsuit where he said in a deposition that he had made a career of outsourcing, which she said resulted in ending Georgia jobs and creating others overseas.
“You do have a pattern here of outsourcing jobs. You run on a business career, and people deserve to know,” she said.
Perdue argued that he created jobs in the United States by finding affordable suppliers.
When Nunn mentioned that more than 2,000 women store managers at Dollar General complained of being paid less than male counterparts while he was the CEO, he dismissed it as a distraction from discussion of Obama’s policies. Anyone buying an iPhone, which is made overseas, was also engaging in outsourcing, he said.
At the end of the exchange, Perdue accused Nunn of engaging in unfair employment practices herself because two former workers of the Points of Light Foundation she headed filed complaints. She said they never amounted to anything after federal investigators looked into them and rebuked him for trying to compare two baseless complaints to those of 2,000 women who won a multi-million-dollar settlement.
“David, trying to create equivalency here is really a stretch,” she said.
The candidates actually agreed on the need to cut corporate tax rates, ease some regulations and unlock energy resources as ways to stimulate the economy. However, Nunn also said she supports raising the minimum wage, which Purdue opposes.
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