Jon Ossoff and Sen. David Perdue debated on Wednesday night, and Ossoff was pulling absolutely no punches, calling Perdue a “crook” to his face. The debate came days before the election and with Ossoff narrowly leading in many polls—though often below the 50% mark that Georgia law requires to avoid a runoff—and Ossoff had clearly decided not to play it safe and bland.
That “crook” comment came as Ossoff talked about Perdue’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying: “Perhaps you 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. It’s not just that you’re a crook, senator, it’s that you’re attacking the health of the people that you represent.”
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“You did say COVID-19 was no deadlier than the flu. You did say there would be no significant uptick in cases,” Ossoff continued. “All the while you were looking over your own assets and your own portfolio, and you did vote four times to end protections for preexisting conditions. Four times. And the legislation that you tout—the Protect Act—it includes loopholes that specifically allow insurance companies to deny policies to Georgians with preexisting conditions. Can you look down the camera and tell the people of this state why you voted four times to allow insurance companies to deny us health coverage because we may suffer from diabetes or heart disease or asthma or have cancer in remission. Why, senator?”
That clip (watch below) has gone viral, drawing over 6 million views and counting. But there was another important moment in which Ossoff took it right to Perdue, too.
“You’ve continued to demean yourself throughout this campaign with your conduct,” Ossoff said, addressing Perdue. “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. It’s ridiculous, and you shouldn’t do everything that your handlers in Washington tell you to, ‘cause you’ll lose your soul along the way, senator. What the people of Georgia deserve is a serious discussion of economic relief for Georgia families and how we’re going to protect coverage for preexisting conditions.”
That’s going to leave a mark—and check out Perdue’s face during both of those moments.