Sunday night’s debate between Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democratic candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock was a sight to see.
The two battled it out on the floor on various topics weeks ahead of the crucial runoff election that will be one of two that will determine which party controls the Senate. Georgia has a second runoff between Democratic opponent Jon Ossoff and Republican Sen. David Perdue.
CNN provided a detailed recap of last night’s event. First on the list was Loeffler’s opinion on the “rigged” presidential election. Although she did not say that she agreed with the widespread misconception, she did say, “it’s very clear that there were issues in this election.” And added that President Trump was well within his right to take legal action when asked if she supported his stance on this year’s election.
When she was put on the spot to provide a one-word answer, she wouldn’t.
“Yes or no, Sen. Loeffler: Did Donald Trump lose the presidential election? Instead, she responded by restating, “President Trump has every right to use every legal recourse available.” This gave her challenger Warnock a chance at calling her out for casting “doubt on an American democratic election.”
Possibly the biggest topic was on America’s novel health crisis, the coronavirus. When Warnock was asked what he considered to be a reasonable topline number for the total cost in terms of a new COVID-19 relief plan, he stated, “Look, I think that we should at least make sure that whatever we do, workers are at the center of that relief.”
He also dodged the question of whether he agrees with expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court in an attempt to offset the new appointments placed by Donald Trump.
“People aren’t asking me about the courts and whether we should expand the courts. I know that’s an interesting question for people inside the beltway to discuss,” he said in response. When pressed again, he said, “I’m really not focused on it,” he stated. He also would not answer whether there should be term limits on justices serving the bench.
Both opponents attacked one another when it came down to who was more in touch with voters. Loeffler accused Warnock of being a “radical liberal.” Which he responded by saying he believes in “our free enterprise system.” During the debate, the Republican senator called on him to denounce socialism and Marxism.
Things then got a little more heated when Warnock went on to a touchy subject, Loeffler has been under scrutiny for her recent stock trade transactions, and her opponent didn’t sway from calling her out on it.
“You dumped millions of dollars of stock in order to protect your own investments and then weeks later when there came an opportunity to give ordinary Georgians an extra $600 of relief, you said you saw no need and called it counterproductive.”
She quickly defended herself by saying, “I’ve been completely exonerated. Those are lies perpetrated by the left-wing media and Democrats to distract from their radical agenda. Since I got to the Senate, I’ve worked hard to deliver relief to Georgians during this pandemic, and I’m continuing to do that.”
Last, both politicians say they are open to taking a coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available to them, possibly the only thing the two agreed on last night.
“Absolutely, when our health professionals tell us that we have a vaccine that works and is effective and safe, I will take it, I will encourage the folks who listen to me, people who are in my church and in my community to take it,” Warnock said.
“I could not be more proud of what we’ve done this year to deliver relief, but also get cures, vaccines, and therapies that are effective. So I’m going to encourage my fellow Georgians to stay safe, to get that vaccine,” she added.
If Loeffler or Perdue gets reelected, the GOP will maintain the majority of the Senate. But if Georgia Democrats Ossoff and Warnock win then, there will be an even power in the Senate, and it will be up to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to break the tie.
The Georgia runoff election is January 5. The deadline to register to vote is December 7.