Sen. Perdue Maintains His Support of Donald Trump, and Says Georgia Remains a Red State

Sen. David Perdue dons  his jean jacket and a  Trump cap at the Georgia GOP convention.
Sen. David Perdue dons his jean jacket and a Trump cap at the Georgia GOP convention. Photo: Jon Richards
Senator David Perdue is holding fast to his endorsement of Donald Trump for President in the November elections, despite calls by some to rescind his support. In a wide-ranging interview with the media Tuesday morning, Perdue said that the New York businessman is connecting with the voters who are tired of the way things are going in Washington.

For himself, the senator says he took a businesslike approach of choosing between several alternatives. While he wishes that Trump was a better candidate, he notes that a Clinton presidency would mean liberals being added to the Supreme Court, having additional taxes, having additional regulations, and potentially, a single payer health care system.

Senator Perdue, who entered politics to run for the Senate after a career in business, sees good reason for Trump’s popularity. He pointed out that many voters are frustrated by the way things are going in Washington, and because of that, they see an outsider like Trump as someone who could change the direction of the country.

Presidential elections over the past 40 years have been driven by ideology, as evidenced by the culture wars. According to the senator, that’s changing. Now people see world on an axis that’s other than conservative or liberal. Instead, it’s the establishment vs. everybody else. Perdue believes that is what drove many Democrats to support Bernie Sanders. Even though they didn’t agree with him on socialism and other ideological positions, they agreed with his opposition to the establishment, and his support for the little guy. Perdue sees the same thing with Trump’s supporters. People are voting for him because he is counter-establishment, despite the fact that the disagree with him on some ideological issues.

While some prognosticators are wondering if Georgia is going to be a battleground state in the presidential election, Senator Perdue believes this isn’t the case. Two of the polls taken this month of Georgia voters have Trump up by four points, one has Clinton up by seven points, and the other has her up by three. Pointing out that polls in his senatorial race had him trailing by four or five points, Perdue said that in November, he won by eight points. Yet, he admitted that the Georgia GOP has to do a better job of being inclusive if it wants to avoid becoming a purple or blue state down the road.

Georgia Republicans and Democrats agree on many things, Perdue said. To avoid becoming purple, the Republican Party will need to be more inclusive by reaching out to communities it hasn’t traditionally embraced. He pointed to Senator Johnny Isakson, who has gotten public endorsements from many Democrats in his race for a third Senate term. His support from across the political spectrum should mean it won’t be a close race.

Summing up, Perdue believes that Republicans should have the high ground after eight years of President Obama. He pointed out that Hillary Clinton has not offered any proposals that show a change from what Obama is doing. Yet, he lamented, all Republicans are talking about is what Trump said last week. While that may work in the primary, the Senator said, it won’t work in a general election.

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