Opinion: All you need to know about Jon Ossoff’s ‘independence’

Jon Ossoff, seen here saying just as much about how voters can really expect him to be “independent” as he did when asked directly about it during Thursday’s debate against Karen Handel. (AJC Photo / Bob Andres)

Karen Handel and Jon Ossoff had their second debate Thursday morning. It was unfortunately timed, coming right before James Comey’s much-hyped testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. But an important moment took place in the debate which should not be lost on any of the voters in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.

About three-quarters of the way through the debate, after moderator Denis O’Hayer of WABE asked Handel a question about her ties to President Trump, he asked Ossoff this question (start watching here at the 1:11:43 mark):

“Mr. Ossoff … assuming you’re elected, you’re almost immediately going to be running for re-election, and you’re going to need help from the Democratic leadership, which has been part of the help for your campaign. They — it’s a natural thing in politics, they’re going to say, look, we helped you, you need to help us. You’ve talked about being independent; how can you, when you may need their help against a well-funded Republican opponent in the next election, should you win?”

It was a perfectly legitimate question that needed to be asked of a candidate who has practically run from the party label he chose (in an election that’s officially non-partisan, and in which two of the 18 original candidates actually did run as independents). But as Republicans have rightly pointed out numerous times, Ossoff has received the vast, vast majority of his campaign funds from not just outside the 6th District but outside the state of Georgia. And congressional Democrats have pumped millions of dollars into his campaign. Yet he still claims, with a straight face, that he would be some kind of “independent voice” providing “independent leadership” from the back benches.

How much time did Ossoff spend answering the actual question? Not one second; not one word. Here’s what he said in response, in its entirety:

“Well, there is indeed a clear contrast in this race, as Secretary Handel said. I will be a fresh, independent voice for this district. Secretary Handel on the other hand is a career politician who has run six times for five different offices. The last two major responsibilities she had: As secretary of state, she quit the job early to seek higher office, as so many career politicians do. Her last major responsibility in the private sector, at the Komen Foundation, she quit. She resigned in disgrace, amidst a scandal over her leadership of an effort to de-fund life-saving breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood. And in 2012, Secretary Handel, you said, quote, I embrace that I led the project — that project being to de-fund breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood. The last few weeks you’ve avoided responsibility. I think you should take responsibility for what you did, and explain to the people of the 6th District why you thought it was appropriate to impose your own views on women here in Georgia and across the state by de-funding breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood.”

Did you catch that? He restated the premise for O’Hayer’s question, didn’t answer it, and then proceeded to spend the rest of his time attacking Handel. And not attacking her in any old way: He chose chiefly to attack her along one of the most partisan fault lines in politics today, the funding of Planned Parenthood.

There was nothing — nothing at all — in his answer to explain how voters could possibly realistically expect him to be independent from the people bankrolling his campaign, who as O’Hayer noted could be counted on to bankroll his re-election campaign were he to be in position to run one. There was just another repetition of his favorite, false smear against his opponent.

His silence about the actual topic tells you everything there is to know about the utter fantasy he’s peddling about being “independent” of Democratic leaders in Washington.

Handel, presumably aggravated at having to answer Ossoff’s false charges once again, didn’t point out his failure to answer. Neither did O’Hayer (who otherwise did a bang-up job as moderator, asking pointed questions that hit the soft spots of both candidates). It was always unlikely there would be a “knock-out” moment in these debates for either candidate, given how close the race is. But this might have been it, had Handel seized on it.

Nevertheless, it is a moment that 6th District voters deserve to know about as they consider whether Jon Ossoff is a “safe” or “harmless” choice who wouldn’t go to Washington and repeatedly vote against the ideals they’ve supported many times via their votes for men like Newt Gingrich, Johnny Isakson and Tom Price. He can’t make good on that promise, and when asked directly about it he made that crystal clear by turning tail and running away from the question as fast as he could.

Reader Comments 0

555 comments
MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Having heard Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the Broadway hit Broadway musical, "Hamilton," speak on a PBS broadcast last evening, in which Miranda compared Hamilton to Jefferson, I realized this fact:


JON OSSOFF has more intellectual understanding of historical depth than does Lin-Manuel Miranda. Moreover, we will be foolish, indeed, if we do not send a young man with OSSOFF's intellectual gifts to our U. S. Congress, to help save it, if for no other reason.  Thomas Jefferson was in his early 30s when he penned the Declaration of Independence.  It is intelligence of a high order that we should preserve, irregardless of age.  And, we can start by sending Ossoff to Congress, not Handel.



FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

So Handel is receiving the vast majority of her campaign funding from within the confines of the 6th district? No Republican Party support or backing? 

steveyb
steveyb

Surprise! Are you kidding? Politicians rarely answer a question (especially a yes or no question!) They use their answer time to say what they want to say. Ossoff has obviously learned the game, probably from being grilled by long time politicos before the debates.

JacketMan
JacketMan

When looking at the two candidates OBJECTIVELY, we see Jon Ossoff who has received a VAST MAJORITY of HIS donations from INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTORS, so regardless of what this ARTICLE, Karen Handel, or Paul Ryan's PAC wants you to believe, HE WON'T be beholding to ANY Special Interest Group or Nancy Pelosi because THEY HAVEN'T FUNDED HIS CAMPAIGN.

The TRUTH is that KAREN HANDEL'S CAMPAIGN is the one which is taking a VAST MAJORITY of HER CONTRIBUTIONS FROM SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS and NOT individual contributions, so SHE is the one who will HAVE TO BE BEHOLDING TO THE PAC'S, NOT JON OSOFF.

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

 I'd be willing to bet that when Trump leaves the White House, he doesn't steal the china.


It's hard to steal anything when your hands are cuffed behind your back!

DanaJ.Devries
DanaJ.Devries

 my roomate's sister in law makes 74 an hour from home. she has been without a job for seven months, the previous month her pay was 15355 working on the internet a few hours each day, check this site

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>www.smart-job5.com

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

The Dork has so much outside money he can hire Rent a Mob to beat the streets and call everyone in sight and pitch his Pelosi message, it the end he is just a empty suit living with his girl friend outside the District 

gukocuzobu
gukocuzobu

I'm in shock that a mom able to make 9859_bucks in four weeks on the computer . 


                             look these up.............  http://www.fl-y.com/online-jobss

Vanna Flanders
Vanna Flanders

You have a pay~pal ? in case if you have you can make an additional 300 a week to your income only working from home four hours per day. look at

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AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

I'd be willing to bet that when Trump leaves the White House, he doesn't steal the china.


monkey liberals admire grifters and admonish the successful. 


They are super clowns.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Jousting with far-left stupid people is fun for a little while but than they're stupid. Time to move on. Good night y'all.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

It is indeed time for the now president Trump, to lay aside his tweeter account and concentrate on the agenda he campaigned on. He must forget his detractors that want to hold him and the nation hostage to their petty whims and focus on the policies that got him elected. In short, "F" the Democrats.

Starik
Starik

@SGTGrit He's unable to do that, because he's burdened by a number of personality disorders and has very limited intelligence.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Starik @SGTGrit  Oh please...try to explain his private sector success, while as you say encumbered by "personality disorders and limited intelligence". Please be specific with actual examples that prove your point and refrain from your generalities.

Starik
Starik

@SGTGrit @Starik Observations. Manipulating real estate deals, declaring bankruptcy, hiding his tax returns (why?) does not indicate ability or intelligence. That's particularly so with a huge boost from daddy's estate. He's obviously a four star narcissist and likely a sociopath as well. He seems to have little knowledge except for sales.

Starik
Starik

@SGTGrit @Starik All those speeches and tweets... "I have an excellent brain," "Only I can fix [name the problem]. Add that to all the successful lawsuits against him for fraud and not paying his bills... too much to list everything.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Starik @SGTGrit  Okay...yet he's been tremendously successful and even was elected president of the United States. Life's failure? Hardly.

lolTechies
lolTechies

@SGTGrit @Starik Casinos, steaks, "university".  Those specific enough?  Oh, and the immutable fact that he'd have more money if he'd put his inheritance into index funds and left it alone, rather than using it for shady business deals.

Starik
Starik

@SGTGrit @Starik We don't know how successful he is unless we know about his debts. A successful sociopath as far as his real estate career. Starting out rich and becoming richer the way he did doesn't impress me.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

 American democracy has been corrupted, and if not cured, the disease will be fatal.  There is no other conclusion to be drawn when the public is deceived  on the scale that was revealed (but ignored) by James Comey.  The stunning truth is that the American political and media establishment allowed a phony story – thatthey knew was phony -- to dominate our political discourse for months. When James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week, he revealed that he had informed many important Congressional leaders that there was no investigation of President Trump and the Russians underway, even as MSNBC, CNN, The New York Times, and the Washington Post daily carried stories alluding to an imaginary investigation.


http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/06/a_vast_conspiracy_of_silence_kept_the_russia_collusion_story_alive.html

MarkVV
MarkVV

@AndyManUSA#45 American democracy has been corrupted: By the Russians, with their interference in our election in favor of Donald Trump.;


SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@MarkVV @AndyManUSA#45  Now exactly why would the Russians prefer Trump and the administration he's assembled over the continuance of Putin coddling under Obama? Yes, you have no answer.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Starik @SGTGrit @MarkVV @AndyManUSA#45  No one is going to form an alliance with the Russians, so long as Putin, is in power. Obama, try as he did wasn't  successful even though he refused to admit it.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

 In lawtreason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's nation or sovereign.[1] Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife or that of a master by his servant. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a lesser superior was petty treason. A person who commits treason is known in law as a traitorOran's Dictionary of the Law (1983) defines treason as a "citizen's actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the [parent nation]". In many nations, it is also often considered treason to attempt or conspire to overthrow the government, even if no foreign country is aiding or involved by such an endeavor.


Pencil neck schiff, chuck u schumer, nasty pelosi, maggot mueller, all of them would look good standing on the gallows.


Just do it.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@AndyManUSA#45 Oran's Dictionary of the Law (1983) defines treason as a "citizen's actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the [parent nation]"

Thus, if the investigation will show collusion of any of the Trump campaign staffers, or Trump himself, with Russia to interfere with the US presidential election, which would seriously injure the parent nation, it will be classified as treason. Thanks for confirming that.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@MarkVV @AndyManUSA#45  Trump is not the subject of a Russian collusion investigation. I know that's difficult news for you to handle.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@SGTGrit @MarkVV @AndyManUSA#45 First, you do not know that. All that has been revealed on that subject was about the past. What you write is an opinion, not a fact, and as such it is not worth the paper it is not written on. And when you write “I know that's difficult news for you to handle, “ it is just as stupid as most of what you write, because again, it is not a subject you “know” anything about.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

There is more evidence of damage being done to the Executive Branch by this investigation than there is of any collusion or obstruction. It's well past time to start charging people with treason and hanging them by their scrawny pencil necks. What a great way to announce that you are truly the leader of the free world.


Just do it.


We are with you, all the way. What ever you want us to do.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@AndyManUSA#45 "There is more evidence of damage being done to the Executive Branch by this investigation than there is of any collusion or obstruction."

Another "alternative reality."

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Dear Mr. President,


You campaigned on the promise of making America great again. The Russia "investigation" does not make America great again. If you want to make America great again, go to work tomorrow morning and tell maggot mueller to cease and desist or present his evidence to the contrary. Shut it down, eliminate the FBI and replace it with a non political Bureau that actually works on behalf of the American people and not just the democrat party. We will not miss the FBI during it's reconstitution, it has already removed itself from the public good. Pick real American Patriots to lead the new division, there are many willing people who love their country unlike the islamo fascists that currently occupy the unelected deep state.


Sure, the monkey media will whine and moan about it, but how will we know the difference?


Just do it.

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@AndyManUSA#45

Do you realize, IReport, that that there diatribe is the strongest evidence yet (and there's been a ton, to date) that you believe in fascism and that you love fascist strongmen?

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@Eye wonder @AndyManUSA#45 Look, eyeball, just because you are ate up with insanity and grief because your fat drunken slob hillary didn't win the election is not carte blanche to shut the entire government down. You need to learn how to deal with it, little girly man. The majority of electors put the man in office to accomplish his agenda, not spend 4 years fending off deep state sissies. It is time to play hard ball. 

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Watch this. These are the things that America needs, that America craves. This is what the democrats are trying to stop with their hideous Russian agenda.


Why do they hate you so much?


<iframe width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/75sWHCXaEOE?ecver=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


Starik
Starik

@AndyManUSA#45 Haven't you noticed? Nothing will happen with infrastructure. Where's the money coming from?

alex6720
alex6720

The infrastructure "promise" was a hoot. Trump said $1trillion would be invested and then said he meant $200b would come from the federal government with the other $800b coming from private enterprise and other sources.

In short, the $200b will in effect be a tax break (cash giveaway) to private-sector investment in infrastructure projects. Where can I get my $250k Trump handout to build a few homes I can rent out?