By: Susan McCord
U.S. Senate candidate Jon Ossoff stressed the extremely high stakes and hard work required to flip the Senate in a Friday appearance in Augusta, a Democratic stronghold.
The Democrat, who is in a Jan. 5 runoff with GOP Sen. David Perdue, touched on civil rights and the grim reality of COVID-19 at a drive-in rally at James Brown Arena.
“The last four years have corrupted our soul as a people. We’ve been made to fear one another,” Ossoff said to the honking crowd. “We’ve been deliberately divided for cynical partisan reasons.”
Across the street before the rally, Republican U.S. Rep. Rick Allen of Augusta called Ossoff a “trust-fund socialist” who would tax and regulate already struggling American businesses.
Perdue hasn’t made any appearances this week, and a staffer said he’s been in Washington working on judicial nominees.
“We’re living in the midst of a tragedy,” Ossoff told the crowd. “Nearly a quarter-million Americans have been killed by this virus.
“Sen. David Perdue told us that COVID-19 was no deadlier than the ordinary flu,” he said. “Sen. David Perdue told us that the risk to our health was low, that the impact on economic growth would be little.
Perdue “knew better — he was getting private briefings in Washington.”
Ossoff said much is at stake if he and Raphael Warnock — who is in a Jan. 5 runoff with GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler — don’t flip the two Georgia seats. If they win, it would create a 50-50 split in the Senate, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris breaking any tie votes.
“They will not be able to lead us,” Ossoff said. “They will not be able to contain this virus and rebuild this economy unless we win these two U.S. Senate races here in Georgia. Those are the stakes.
“It is truly up to us. We have to organize, mobilize, register, get out the vote like we have never done before in this state.Augusta, are you ready to work? It’s time for us to make history. It’s time for us to finish the job.”