David Perdue, the Republican candidate for Georgia’s open US Senate seat, released another ad on Wednesday doubling-down on his debunked claim that Democratic opponent Michelle Nunn funneled money to terrorist organizations through the Points of Light Foundation. The foundation was started by former President George H.W. Bush and is now run by his son, Neil Bush. Nunn served as CEO of the foundation prior to her running for office. Perdue initially targeted Nunn and the foundation with an attack ad last week. He released another ad Wednesday morning making many of the same claims.
Below is the first ad:
Below is the ad that was released on Wednesday:
On Tuesday, Neil Bush called on Perdue to take down and denounce the first ad. Bush said he found it “shameful” and “disrespectful.” Considering that his dad had just endorsed Perdue, even though Nunn had worked for his organization, you can see why Neil Bush would be highly upset that Perdue’s campaign would try to smear Nunn via the Points of Light Foundation. Neil Bush said the following to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution regarding the first ad:
“That’s ridiculous. It really makes my blood boil to think that someone would make that kind of an allegation, whether it’s an independent political group or a candidate for office.”
Neil Bush also released a statement to the AJC formally asking Perdue to denounce the ad.
“Neither Points of Light nor Michelle Nunn have had anything to do with funneling money from our organization to terrorists organizations. Anyone who makes that claim needs to understand the facts and then they need to denounce those claims. To attack an organization founded by my father, whose integrity is unimpeachable, to smear our organization for political gain, is in my opinion shameful.
“It’s just wrong to suggest that Points of Light, or in the context of Points of Light, Michelle Nunn, had anything to do with funneling money to terrorists. If those allegations are being made, it’s symptomatic of what I consider to be one of our country’s growing problems. It really does upset me, honestly. Which is why I’m talking to you.
“To have a blemish on the great work that’s being done by Points of Light, to blow wind into the sails of a national service movement – it’s hurtful to our cause, and it’s disrespectful to our founder.”
Of course, since Perdue apparently has no moral compass, his campaign released the other ad the day after the younger Bush asked him to pull the first ad and repudiate it. Media outlets in the Atlanta area ripped Perdue for the dishonest ad. AJC’s Jay Bookman slammed the new ad as being 2014’s worst. After detailing the reasons why the ad is unbelievably dishonest, Bookman ended his article with the following statement:
Again, we’ve all grown too accustomed to dirty politics, and both sides indulge in it. But given our nation’s recent history and the threat posed by terror, this particular allegation borders on a charge of treason, not just against Nunn but against a non-partisan organization with a proud record of service. It also gives unintentional credence to the basic thrust of Nunn’s campaign against the stridently partisan, win-at-any-cost mentality that has afflicted our national discussion.
Frankly, the charge is also insulting to Georgia voters, treating them as extremely dumb and easily manipulated. We’re better than that, and those seeking to represent us ought to recognize that fact.
Meanwhile, 11Alive in Atlanta gave the ad a 7 (on a scale of 10) on its Bullmeter. The station pointed out that while Nunn’s campaign did claim that there could be distortions of her record, with opponents attempting to claim that she helped give money to inmates and terrorists, her campaign never actually claimed this was true. It just acknowledged that it was possible that an opportunistic candidate could try to make hay by connecting some dots that still didn’t lead to terrorism.
The claim that Points of Light funded organizations linked to terrorists is debatable. But the Nunn plan contains no admission of that. Instead, it refers to it only as a potential attack by Republicans –which they are doing now.
The whiff of bull is pretty strong here, according to our Bullmeter — giving this claim a pungent rating of seven out of ten possible Bull points.
It is apparent that Perdue is getting desperate. Despite Georgia being a solid red state, Perdue is unable to shake Nunn, and some recent polls actually show her with a lead. Due to that, Perdue is trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator (i.e. the base) and frame Nunn as a terrorist funding, amnesty loving commie. The thing is, he is angering a number of allies and Republicans along the way. That doesn’t sound like a winning plan to me.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).