Loeffler said Wednesday that if she and Georgia Republican Senator David Perdue win, they will “save the country”.
Loeffler and Perdue have described their campaigns against Warnock and Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff as a great struggle between the United States and socialism, even though both opponents are capitalists. Loeffler’s attacks came after months of clashes between the Republican Party between Loeffler and Georgia Rep. Doug Collins in the special elections, which Warnock has remained relatively unscathed until now.
At the election rally in Marietta on Wednesday – their first run-off election – Loeffler followed up Warnock for working for a church 25 years ago that invited the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro to an event and claimed that he was currently a “Marxist” Ideology “although he is a capitalist and a Christian.
“What you need to know is in our own churches, he doesn’t care about the things we care about,” she said.
Their campaign ran an ad this week asking if “this” America – showing a classroom of young students saying the pledge of allegiance – will still be America “if the radical left controls the Senate” . The ad then shows pictures of mobs, flashes signs that read “Defund the Police,” and plasters a quote from a 2015 Warnock sermon after a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, killed Michael Brown, saying some officials have a “gangster and” thug mentality. ”
Another Loeffler ad campaign attacks Warnock for honoring Pastor Jeremiah Wright in 2008 despite Wright delivering a now infamous sermon five years ago defined by three words: “Damn America.” The attack is a recall to the 2008 presidential campaign, when then Democratic candidate Barack Obama delivered a pivotal speech on racial relations in America after being criticized for his association with Wright.
Warnock has said that Loeffler seeks to divide Georgia and divert its attention from its opposition to the Affordable Care Act and Health Insurance it offers millions of people in the middle of a pandemic.
“Unless you really have a working family agenda, you probably need to distract working families,” Warnock said Thursday in Atlanta. “I want to continue to focus on ensuring that every Georgian has access to affordable health care, that workers share in some of the profits they make, and that they are able to retire with dignity.”
He also defended his record. When asked about Wright, who has made anti-Semitic comments in the past, Warnock replied that he had “spent his entire career defending himself against bigotry, hatred and xenophobia wherever they come and whoever the source” is. In response to Loeffler’s television commercial that he was “holding a rally for Castro,” Warnock said he had “nothing to do with” inviting the late Cuban despot to speak at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City, where he was in 1995 then as a youth pastor.
Warnock has repeated throughout the campaign that he does not support police defusion, has “great respect” for law enforcement, but wants the country to have “equal protection under the law”. He called America “the greatest country on earth”.
Warnock defended himself preemptively against Loeffler’s attacks last week, sending an ad joking that his opponents said he ate pizza with a fork, hated puppies and stepped on a crack in the sidewalk.
Democrats say Loeffler’s portrayal of Warnock misses the mark.
“Loeffler is creating its own alternate reality with these attacks,” JB Poersch, president of the Senate Majority PAC, a super-PAC in line with Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, told CNN.
At the age of 35, Warnock was elected head of Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2005 and has since worked on issues such as the revision of the criminal code and the expansion of voter registration and Medicaid in Georgia.
Meanwhile, Loeffler has described the work ethic she learned on her family’s farm in Illinois. She was the first in her family to graduate from college and her job was for the Intercontinental Exchange, the commodity and financial exchange company.
She then married Jeffrey Sprecher, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, and co-owned the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream. In late 2019, Republican Governor Brian Kemp appointed Loeffler to fill the seat of retired Senator Johnny Isakson.
However, the senator has been damaged by attacks from left and right, particularly from Warnock and Collins, two of the many candidates who ran against them in November to serve the remainder of Iskason’s term, which ends in 2022.
While Loeffler spent more than $ 20 million on her own racing, Collins mocked her private jet lifestyle and accused her of profiting from the pandemic. Loeffler said she never used confidential information to generate profits that were bought and sold by outside consultants on her behalf that would part with individual stocks.
“She happily accepts the approval of a candidate who deals with the QAnon conspiracy theory, which is full of hatred and bigotry,” Warnock said Thursday. “It’s embarrassing.”
This week Loeffler and Perdue called for the resignation of Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, saying his “mismanagement” and “lack of transparency” were “unacceptable” as Trump unfoundedly denied the presidential election results. Raffensperger replied that he would not do so, saying that it was “unlikely” that illegal polls would leave enough room for maneuver to reverse the results. He suggested Loeffler and Perdue focus on their own races to make sure the Republicans keep the Senate.
Democrats have not won a Senate seat in Georgia since 2000. However, they are confident that the state’s changing demographics, voter registration efforts led by former state minority Stacey Abrams and Joe Biden’s appearance in the state – the best for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992 – could turn the state blue.
According to NRSC spokesman Jesse Hunt, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, along with Perdue and Loeffler’s campaigns, has raised a total of $ 32 million over the past six days and will create a massive field program in Peach State.
“Senators Perdue and Loeffler are incredible leaders for their state, and the NRSC and the entire Republican ecosystem will work in lockstep with their teams to protect our country from being kidnapped by a group of runaway socialists,” said Hunt.
This story has been updated with Loeffler and Perdue’s calls for Raffensperger to resign and his response.
CNN’s Kyung Lah contributed to this report.