Georgia Republican Sen. David Perdue pulled out of his final debate with Democrat challenger Jon Ossoff scheduled for Sunday after Ossoff’s bitter attack in the last debate went viral on Twitter.
Perdue will instead attend a rally with President Trump, his campaign said, after Ossoff labeled the senator a “crook” and Perdue accused Ossoff of profiting off China.
“Senator Perdue will not be participating in the WSB-TV debate but will instead join the 45th president, Donald J. Trump, for a huge Get-Out-The-Vote rally in Northwest Georgia,” Perdue spokesperson John Burke told Fox News in a statement. “For 8 of the last 14 days of this campaign, Senator Perdue went back to Washington to work for much needed COVID relief for Georgians which Jon Ossoff’s top donor Chuck Schumer derailed.
“To make up for the lost time, Senator Perdue has over 20 campaign stops planned for the closing days of this race, and he is excited to welcome and join President Trump,” Burke continued.
“Perhaps Sen. Perdue would have been able to respond properly to the Covid-19 pandemic if you hadn’t been fending off multiple federal investigations for insider trading,” Ossoff said during a debate Wednesday. “It’s not just that you’re a crook, senator. It’s that you’re attacking the health of the people that you represent.”
Ossoff, 33, posted the clip to Twitter and it has since been viewed 12.5 million times as of Friday.
According to the latest Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll, the competitors are essentially tied, with Ossoff leading the Republican one-time incumbent by one percentage point, 46-45.
In another highlight of the last debate, Perdue accused his Democratic challenger of profiting off a Hong Kong media company who had ties to Beijing. Perdue pulled out a financial disclosure proving the media firm Ossoff heads had done business with the Hong Kong entity linked to the Chinese government.
“There’s a responsibility there he needs to own up to, because sooner or later we need somebody in the United States Senate that will stand up to communist China,” Perdue said.
Ossoff didn’t dispute the claim but said it was “so beneath the office of a U.S. senator.”
“You’ve continued to demean yourself throughout this campaign with your conduct. First, you were lengthening my nose in attack ads to remind everybody that I’m Jewish. Then when that didn’t work, you started calling me some kind of Islamic terrorist. And then when that didn’t work, you started calling me a Chinese communist,” he said.
In July, Perdue’s campaign took down an ad that seemed to enlarge Ossoff’s nose, prompting Ossoff’s campaign to accuse the senator of anti-Semitism. The campaign said it was an “unintentional error” from an “outside vendor.”