One by one, business owners said in court this week they felt intimidated by DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis when he asked for campaign contributions, and they feared losing work from the county if they didn’t pay up.
Earlier today she released a radio ad using the Perdue audio to make the case that Perdue has “lost touch with our values.” Shortly after the call was over, Handel sent out a press release saying she accepted the apology. And then:
“But the apology is not owed to me—it is owed to the many other Georgians he demeaned. I believe in an America where the circumstances in which we grow up do not determine our ability to achieve. America has always been the land of opportunity for all—not just some.”
Reporters’ inboxes were quickly pinged with another Handel campaign missive attributed to a prominent supporter, state Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus:
“David Perdue’s ‘apology’ reeks of political expediency. Last week when asked about the comments, David’s spokesman said they were just based on facts that are a matter of public record. The next day, the same spokesman said he wasn’t aware of a suggestion that an apology was in order.
“After a week of receiving negative national attention, and being ridiculed as an out-of-touch self-funding elitist who thinks he can buy this election, David’s political consultants have seen the writing on the wall.”
Spokesman Derrick Dickey provided the Perdue take on the call:
“David made a heartfelt personal call to Ms. Handel that was intended to remain private. He contacted her directly for no other reason than to let her know he was sorry for the comment. There is certainly no expectation for her to change campaign tactics.”
Daniel Malloy is the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington Correspondent, covering the Georgia Congressional delegation and other D.C. goings-on that affect the state since 2011. He's a zealous fan and proud graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.