Karen Handel delivered a blistering red(neck)-white-and-blue(collar) assault Tuesday on David Perdue, accusing the Republican Senate hopeful of dismissing American exceptionalism on the eve of the nation’s independence celebration.
Handel, who endorsed Jack Kingston in the GOP runoff contest to succeed retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss after falling short in her own bid, said comments Perdue made in a May editorial board meeting with the Macon Telegraph reveal an elitist view of America.
Asked by an as yet unidentified editor if the American view of international economic competitiveness has “been somewhat naive,” Perdue agreed and warned that the country’s vainglorious view disadvantages it on the international stage.
“Of course we’ve been naive. We see the world through the ugly American’s eyes, and that is that the world revolves around New York City or Washington, D.C.,” he said, according to an audio record of the six-weeks-old editorial board huddle. “The rest of the world gets it.”
An apoplectic Handle, who has embraced her role as Kingston’s everyman stalking horse in the weeks since her own campaign ended, fired back in a lengthy statement circulated Tuesday by the Kingston campaign: “David Perdue just can’t seem to keep his arrogance in check. First, he belittles Georgians who don’t have a four-year college degree and haven’t lived overseas. Then,’ he patronizes the grassroots core of the GOP. Now, he’s insulting Americans in general.”
She continued by likening Perdue to First Lady Michelle Obama.
“David’s comments remind me of Michelle Obama’s absurd statement made after her husband’s election that it was the first time in her adult life that she felt proud to be an American,” she said. “Perhaps like Michelle Obama, David Perdue’s forgotten just how fortunate and blessed he is to be an American. Most Georgians ‘get’ that. Too bad David doesn’t.”
The attack marks the second time in as many weeks that Handel, who once hoped to parlay Perdue’s education-as-competence flub into a blue collar primary victory, has assailed the former Reebok and Dollar General executive as an elitist. (Last week she rapped Perdue for seemingly dismissing the ladder-climbing aspirations of grassroots activists.)
Listen to the Perdue’s comments–talk of US competitiveness begins around the 43-minute mark–below the fold.