Senator Johnny Isakson raised more than $1.6 million in the first three months of the year, according to an aide.
Fundraising reports are not due with the Federal Election Commission until Thursday, but an Isakson spokeswoman previewed the campaign’s filing with Tipsheet Tuesday.
The GOPer, who faces reelection next year, will report a cash balance of $3.75 million and zero debt, a far stronger financial position than this time last cycle.
“I am proud that Georgians continue to feel that I effectively represent their interests in Washington,” Isakson said in a statement. “I look forward to this campaign and supporting all those conservative candidates across the country who are also dedicated to keeping our Republican majority and taking back the White House.”
His campaign had raised less than $400,000 in the first quarter of 2009 and had a war chest of just $2.47 million, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Isakson already faces one nominal challenge—from MARTA engineer Derrick Grayson, who secured just over 6,000 votes in last year’s Republican Senate contest—but the 70-year-old is hoping to preemptively big foot any serious primary trials by posting strong fundraising numbers lest any would-be challengers think him easy prey.
Sen. Johnny Isakson welcomed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton into the presidential contest Sunday with a criticism of her handling of the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Isakson, who sits alongside freshman David Perdue on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a Sunday interview on Fox Business Network that Clinton “did a good job in terms of traveling the world” but so severely fumbled the response to the Benghazi attack that questions of her readiness would plague her campaign.
“The one commercial she ran against Barack Obama when she ran for president was, ‘Who do you want in the White House at 3 am when that call comes in?’ Well her call came in at 3 am from Benhazi and they didn’t answer,” Isakson said. “She’s going to have to respond to that.”
“She did a good job in the continent of Africa with our relations there, she did a good job in terms of traveling the world. But in terms of Benghazi, that’s going to be the one question she’s got to answer, because we had four Americans in the consulate who lost their lives because the United States didn’t respond and we know the State Department knew they were under attack,” the Georgian added. “That’s going to be the $64,000 question.”
Isakson said it was “wrong” that emails from Sec. Clinton’s time at the State Department had been purged from private servers without government oversight, but said he believed the emails were still salvageable.
“I learned something as chairman of the ethics committee: there’s no such thing as everything being gone in the computer,” he said. “A forensic analysis would probably find [the emails]. I hope we do find it.”
Watch the full interview after the jump.
The leadership pac for Jeb Bush, the primary vehicle through which the former Florida governor has been road testing a presidential campaign, announced this week it had contributed more than $117,000 to some two dozen congressional Republicans facing reelection next year, including two Georgians.
The pac gave U.S. Senator Isakson, who is seeking a third six-year term, and Augusta freshman Rep. Rick Allen each a cash injection of $5,400. The contribution covers both the primary, in which Isakson will face off with at least one (nominal) challenger, and the general election.
See the full list of pac recipients after the jump.
Both of Georgia’s U.S. senators have joined an effort by New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte in pressuring the Air Force to abandon its plans to divest a fleet of close air support aircrafts.
The Air Force signaled last year it wanted to retire the A-10 “Warthog” attack jet, but key congressional lawmakers (and defense analysts, including those at the Council on Foreign Relations) criticized the plan as reckless and said it would deny ground troops critical close air support when engaged in close enemy combat.
In a pair of letters to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Armed Services and Appropriations Committees, Ayotte and nine other GOP defense hawks, including Georgia’s Sens. David Perdue and Johnny Isakson, call the A-10 divestment plan “premature, misguided, and dangerous” and have asked that the defense authorization legislation for the next fiscal year explicitly bar Air Force from grounding the aircrafts.
“When we send our troops into harm’s way, we have a solemn obligation to ensure that they have the very best support possible so they can accomplish their missions and return home safely,” one letter, a copy of which was provided to Tipsheet by a Perdue aide, reads. “There is an overwhelming consensus among our ground troops, special operators, and Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) that the A-10 is the Air Force’s best close air support aircraft and that it provides CAS capabilities that no other current aircraft can.
“For that reason, we remain concerned that if the Air Force is permitted to prematurely divest the A-10 before an equally capable replacement reaches full operational capability, the quality of CAS available to our ground forces will decline and Americans will be killed and injured unnecessarily.”
Read the text of both letters after the jump.
President Barack Obama’s choice for the second-highest-ranking prosecutor at the Department of Justice will be introduced by the nominee’s home state senators, Republicans David Perdue and Johnny Isakson, during a …