Opinion: David Perdue on 2018: Not running, nor seeking a candidate

U.S. Sen. David Perdue speaks during the Brookhaven and DeKalb Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Tuesday. (AJC Photo / Hyosub Shin)

I’ve already written a few times about the specter of 2018 that looms over Georgia’s lawmakers and politics. Underlying that are the efforts by a number of groups to recruit candidates to the Republican field for governor, which currently includes Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. These include the circle around the current governor, Nathan Deal; the Republicans in the state’s U.S. House delegation, from which Deal came in 2010; and the folks in the orbit of the previous governor, Sonny Perdue, as well as his cousin, U.S. Sen. David Perdue. One might reasonably infer these groups are not content with the present pair of candidates.

David Perdue was in Atlanta this week and, in addition to questions about health care (which will feature into Sunday’s print column) and tax reform, I asked him about those recruitment efforts by “Team Perdue.” He first acted a bit surprised — “I must not be in Team Perdue!” — then said, “I’d love to find somebody outside the system who could do this (but) I’m not looking for people. I’m not trying to recruit people.”

He went on to talk about the race fairly extensively. But first, he addressed a persistent rumor about his own ambitions. The possibility of Perdue running for governor himself was seemingly laid to rest after November’s elections put a Republican in the White House in Donald Trump, whom Perdue vocally backed as soon as it became clear he would be the GOP nominee. But in the last week or so I began to hear it crop up again. Here’s our conversation:

PERDUE: “All I can tell you is I made a decision personally, that although I was encouraged by a lot of people to run for governor, that I felt like that’s what typical politicians did. They get elected to one job, and then they move over and run for another job. Well frankly, I’ve got a higher and best use, I think, right now with my time, and with my background, in the United States Senate. The people of Georgia elected me to the Senate to try to make a difference. I’ve been there two years. I think it would be an abrogation of my responsibility who fought like hell to get me here, to turn around and run for governor right now. I believe they sent me to Washington to help support — and now we’ve got a Republican president in there — to help support the turnaround that we’re in the midst of now. So I feel totally at peace trying to fulfill my responsibility to the people who elected me to get me up there.

ME: “So that’s a firm no?”

PERDUE: “That’s a firm no. Yeah. And it has been. And so, I’m at total peace with that. Now, what I hope doesn’t happen is what happened in my Senate race, in that the Republicans have an open field and the Democrats come in with one candidate, and all of a sudden, we have a bloodbath in the primary, we have a big, long runoff, a nine-week runoff — that’s something that is really not productive, and it doesn’t end up necessarily being the right thing to do. And it’s unusual for an outside candidate with no experience to kind of get through that process. So, we kind of encourage the things that lead to so many people — like in the United States Senate, we’ve got over 30 people who’ve been there more than 30 years, in the House and the Senate. Sixty have been there more than 20 years. And we don’t have very many —  I think it’s ridiculous that we have only one Fortune 500 CEO in all of Congress. That’s just not right. But I know how it happens, having gone through the process. I’m not involved in trying to find a ‘Perdue candidate.’ Sonny and I don’t even talk about it. Sonny right now is trying to get confirmed in Washington to become secretary of ag, and I’m excited about that, he’s excited about that, and the people of Georgia, they’ll find somebody good. And I just want it to be a Republican.”

At that point, I asked him about that reasonable conclusion I mentioned above about Kemp and Cagle, only in the reverse:

ME: “There’s two in the race so far, Casey Cagle and Brian Kemp. If it’s just the two of them, would you be content?”

PERDUE: “Against a Democrat, absolutely.

“We’ve got to find somebody, No. 1, that can continue the economic-development momentum we have as a state. Two, can fight like hell this transactional dimension that always potentially is there around governor races. And I think the third thing is that cronyism needs to be ferreted out at every corner. This is not — and I’m not accusing anybody of that, but it’s a temptation. You can look at other states and see it. We don’t have that in Georgia. And so I think those are some of the — I’d love to find somebody … that understands, he’s got a 40-plus billion-dollar operation here. We’ve got big issues here. We’ve got infrastructure, we’ve got a water war going on, we’ve got education issues to make sure we’ve got a workforce development that’s there, and we’ve got to continue to have cheap power. And I think that will continue. We’ve got the huge Vogtle project down there, we’ve got the port deepening that’s important, Harstfield-Jackson continues to grow, and we’ve got 11 DOT projects now around the state. All this is encouraging growth, but you still have to stay competitive, and get out and work hard to do that.”

My take? Perdue might not be personally vetting potential candidates to back, but I wasn’t sold that he’s sold on Kemp and Cagle as the only two people the GOP needs in that race.

Reader Comments 0

60 comments
AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

My thoughts on Tax March Saturday; Do liberals ever tire of making fools out of themselves?


Honestly, grow up.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Tom Teepin, Passes. Never a believer in his political views but R.I.P.Tom.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@AndyManUSA#45

The only thing more troubling about Maxine than herself is the dunderheads who keep her in office.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

He Has Risen, Happy Easter.

breckenridge
breckenridge

@SGTGrit 

This is where the rubber meets the road eh? The 1st century Jewish philosopher Jesus of Nazareth was quite an extraordinary man.  But the idea that he died and then came back to life is complete nonsense.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

President Trump has raised more than $42 million in the first quarter of 2017 for his 2020 re-election bid, outpacing his predecessor's donations by two and a half times.


The majority of donations were $200 or less and flowed in from email solicitations to support Trump's agenda.


Doesn't quite square with the version of events the media is conniving on, does it? 

breckenridge
breckenridge

April 15 - From Seattle to D.C., protesters are gathering in cities throughout the country Saturday to call on President Trump to release his personal tax returns. The protests fall on the country’s traditionally recognized deadline to file taxes, April 15.

Wow.  What a waste of time.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@breckenridge

Yea, sorta like posting anonymously on a blog debating dunderhead LibProgs.

They never learn. 

stogiefogey
stogiefogey

@breckenridge  Doubt very many people have any interest in his tax returns.

And the handful of people who do wouldn't even understand what they were looking at - you can bet the guy doesn't file Form 1040EZ.

bu22
bu22

@stogiefogey @breckenridge Like the one who claimed Trump would be impeached when his tax returns were released.  Guy was either just totally clueless or brainwashed.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

It's a continuing pleasure to point out the folly of Obama's arrogance.

Trump is using the Congressional Review Act signed into law by Bill Clinton to un-do many of the Obama administrations regulations.

The law provides congress 60 days to reverse a regulation which also bans its future use without congressional approval.

The Obama administration in their arrogance in many cases did not notify Congress of a regulation and therefore the 60 day clock did not start.

This lets Trump reverse regulations much older than 60 days.

But of course the Left likes to point out how Trump does not know what he is doing. 

Hotdog Hamlisch
Hotdog Hamlisch

I'm surprised he didn't endorse Brian Kemp. Those two are some peas in a pod right there. Posterboys for republican incompetence and delusion. 

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

 The urgent, preliminary report by inspector general Michael Missal pointed to poor inventory practices that put patients at risk, from dirty storage areas for syringes to lack of checks to remove medical equipment and supplies that had been subject to safety recalls. The findings prompted the VA to announce by Wednesday afternoon that it had relieved the facility’s director in Washington D.C., Brian Hawkins, of his duties.


MAGA


http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/apr/12/va-unveils-new-website-on-quality-of-care-touts-ac/

breckenridge
breckenridge

@JohnnyReb @AndyManUSA#45 

It's the same tireless, boring song and dance from you every single day - Obama screwed this up, Trump is going to fix it.  And it's noting but garbage.  Just shut the hell up already.


JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@breckenridge @JohnnyReb @AndyManUSA#45

Your little fee fee's hurt?

Hurt because Obama was an arrogant idiot who lied repeatedly and whose legacy will be that of failure.

Don't worry.

After about a hundred years it won't matter.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@AndyManUSA#45

Yep, eight years of broken promises from Obama on the VA will now be corrected by the Trump administration.

If he had been as interested in our heroes as he was giving out more and more welfare the problem would be gone.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@AndyManUSA#45

This is good.

Bad is that Trump stated he had no intention to put Hillary in jail (in so many words).

The Clinton's have skated and slithered away from punishment for decades.

Sessions would probably put a stop to that if Trump turned him loose.

nalu8348
nalu8348

Does this really work guys..? I'm a bit skeptical.. how much effort do I have to put?www.machine44.com

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Good luck to Kyle as the Georgia reporter. Bookman, is kicking your butt as the far-left opinion writer on national as well as state news. You may want to find something else to do if you're afraid to comment on national news. Trump won, get over it or get out of it. You may be the darling of the AJC left bloggers but you're losing a conservative base.

Insert Name Here
Insert Name Here

"this transactional dimension that always potentially is there around governor races"


Is this like a transdimensional portal or something? Because I think your average politico is going to need to bring a bigger boat...

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

I agree that Kemp and Cagle don't inspire momentum in the governors race. Especially if you have Sally Yates running which democrats praise her as a fighter.


Fact.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@McGarnagle

So Dems want to run Sally Yates?

Assuming that's the same Sally Yates who was acting AG and refused to defend the Trump travel ban and was fired for it, would be toast with one TV ad.

All the ad has to do is show that worn out video of illegals on top of the train cars and the one with them scaling the walls with the audio that Sally refused to uphold immigration law. 

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@McGarnagle @JohnnyReb

No, the travel ban was stopped by a judge legislating from the bench, not due to being unpopular.

And you introduced Yates into the conversation.

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@JohnnyReb @McGarnagle


That travel ban was unpopular. Even among conservatives. That's why they had to redo it.


So just saying the Repubs need to find someone what will bring the enthusiasm factor. I am sure thats what David Perdue is thinking. Also not sure Yates will even run so jumping the gun here.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

It's a rare thing to have a man honor the Will of the People that elected him and forego his own personal ambitions. It's also a rare thing for an establishment Republican in Congress to be truthful with their voters, so I guess we'll just have to let this play out to see where Perdue fits in.


Fact

MBrow
MBrow

Considering that he barely shows up as Senator, being Governor would be too much of a full time hustle, I mean job for him.

Caius
Caius

I have little use for David Purdue, Senator or Governor.  Supported him in the Senate race and regretted it within a couple of months of his taking office  See his votes on the Lynch Atty Gen and Yates Deputy Atty Gen. 




AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@Caius If you can prove you supported Perdue in his run for Senate, I'll eat my hat.

Tmps1155
Tmps1155

Being Governor requires work and responsibility. Senator not so much.

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

"Sonny right now is trying to get confirmed in Washington to become secretary of ag, and I’m excited about that"


What? Sonny still not confirmed yet. I am sure the Trump administration don't even want a secretary of agriculture. Poor Sonny. He's not going to call you back girlfriend. 

Doom a classical liberal
Doom a classical liberal

@DeepStateDawg @Doom a classical liberal @McGarnagle


Facts are facts, sir. Obama had 7 cabinet appointments confirmed on the first day. Trump has had his appointees stonewalled and delayed from day 1. Show me another president who has had this kind of obstructionism against his cabinet appointments. Go ahead. Show me. 


And while the Dims don't control Congress they can and have still used delay tactics to delay confirmation. Doesn't appear you passed civics 101 if you didn't know that these stonewalling legislative tactics still exist for the minority party. 

Doom a classical liberal
Doom a classical liberal

@McGarnagle @Doom a classical liberal @DeepStateDawg


You should read your own link. The 1st paragraph or so states that the delay is primarily because the Rs were locked in a partisan brawl over the Gorsuch nomination. Had the Dims not fought against such an overwhelmingly qualified judge then perhaps Sonny's nomination would have been sped up. The paperwork also seemed to add to the delay. 


Furthermore, this has nothing to do with the Dims obstructionism on the various other cabinet appointments. 


The evidence of Dim obstructionism is not a talking point. It is reality. 


https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/01/31/senate-democrats-block-two-trump-cabinet-picks-boycotting-vote/97281828/


https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/senate-democrats-face-a-key-test-tuesday-amid-promises-to-stand-up-to-trump/2017/01/31/1685487a-e7bd-11e6-b82f-687d6e6a3e7c_story.html

Doom a classical liberal
Doom a classical liberal

@McGarnagle


Why do you act surprised Sonny hasn't been confirmed yet? The obstructionism by the Democrats in confirming Trump's cabinet appointments has been unprecedented. 


Its like night and day when considering the quick confirmation of many of Obama's cabinet appointments compared to the obstructionism that Trump's candidates now face. 

DeepStateDawg
DeepStateDawg

"Against a Democrat, absolutely. "


Democrats are "them", and "they're" bad. 


We must defeat "them" at all costs, even if it means casting "them" as things they are not, such as terrorists. 


"We're" good. "They're" bad. 


Are you with "us" or are you with "them"?

DeepStateDawg
DeepStateDawg

@Kyle_Wingfield @DeepStateDawg No. It's a tactic. Anyone will use the tactics available to them to win based on the conditions. I'm just calling it out because David's advertisement against Ossoff in the 6th is particularly offensive: "He's not one of us". It's just galling. 


The GOP has used this particular tactic to much greater effect than the Democrats. Frank Luntz, Newt and the rise of the Conservative media over the last 25 years have built a foundation upon which that's all that needs to be said. 


I'd argue that mindset is the basis of the entire conservative movement: They're bad, we're good, don't worry about the details. Just let us manage the perception for you. 


Obamacare is a perfect example. It's bad. Repeal it. 


That's all that needed to be said, and then repeated. 

DeepStateDawg
DeepStateDawg

@Kyle_Wingfield @DeepStateDawg And not to belabor the point, but...


Can you imagine if an African American candidate, in a majority minority district, ran against a Caucasian candidate, with an explicit message of "that person is not one of us", so therefore they're bad? 


I'm sure it's happened on some local stages, but i'm having a hard time imagining that would pass muster in a statewide or district election. 

DeepStateDawg
DeepStateDawg

@Kyle_Wingfield @DeepStateDawg Yeah. 


And note the "liberal media" coverage there. 


I'd be really interested in Young's thoughts about that, ten years on. 


Check in with him on it. Might be a good column. 

Doom a classical liberal
Doom a classical liberal

@DeepStateDawg @Kyle_Wingfield


"Obamacare is a perfect example. It's bad. Repeal it."


Lemme help you out there, pardner. Obama isn't bad because of some conservative media induced perception.


Obamacare is bad because of its reality. And that reality includes double digit premium increases, $6,000 deductibles combined with high co-insurance, and nearly 70% of all counties in America being reduced to 1 or 2 carriers only- supply and choice has been decimated. 


And to think you folks believed crap like  "you can keep your doctor", "you can keep your plan", and "the average family of 4 will see premium savings of up to $2500 per year".  

Doom a classical liberal
Doom a classical liberal

@DeepStateDawg @Doom a classical liberal @Kyle_Wingfield


I don't recall anyone saying it would be "easy". Even when the Dims passed ACA they had great disagreements on it- hence the near bribery to get 2 Dim Senators to go along with it. 


The other thing is that if the Rs can't come to agreement on a new plan than we are stuck with the imploding Obamacare for another year. And why should the Rs sweat another year of that disaster. The Dims own that. 

DeepStateDawg
DeepStateDawg

@Doom a classical liberal @DeepStateDawg @Kyle_Wingfield


Trump said it just the other week. This is from nbc news: 


On Monday night, during a bi-partisan gathering with senators at the White House, Trump said, "we are all going to make a deal on health care."

Trump said, "That's such an easy one."

"I have no doubt that that's going to happen very quickly."


Trump and the GOP own it now. 

Doom a classical liberal
Doom a classical liberal

@DeepStateDawg @Doom a classical liberal @Kyle_Wingfield


Easy peasy? Not quite. Seems as though you have a short memory as to how difficult it is to pass major legislation and how ACA was passed. If you will recall they had big problems getting that piece of legislation passed. In fact, they were reduced to near bribery with the "Louisiana purchase" and the "Cornhusker kickback" in order to push it through. Forgot about all that did ya? Of course you did. 


Major legislation like this is not supposed to be easy to do. 

Doom a classical liberal
Doom a classical liberal

@DeepStateDawg @Doom a classical liberal @Kyle_Wingfield


And that would be Donald Trump waking up to the reality that politicians can rarely be trusted to do the right thing. 


And this would be a textbook case as to why politicians should be stopped from "fixing things" to begin with. And yet people still look blindly to politicians to solve their problems for them, some much more so than others.