Presidential campaign lands in Georgia this week amid Orlando uproar

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. AP file.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. AP file.

Bill Clinton is in Atlanta this week for his foundation’s annual meeting, and plans a Tuesday public discussion with Jimmy Carter. Donald Trump is headed to town Wednesday for a fundraiser. And questions about the Orlando massacre will inevitably swirl around everything they do.

Trump called for President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to step down for not using the phrase “radical Islam” in condemning the massacre that killed 50 people and injured another 53 at a crowded gay nightclub in Orlando.

“Because our leaders are weak, I said this was going to happen – and it is only going to get worse,” he said, implying that his plan to temporarily ban Muslim immigrants would decrease the threat of terrorism. “I am trying to save lives and prevent the next terrorist attack. We can’t afford to be politically correct anymore.”

He scrapped a campaign rally in New Hampshire and instead scheduled a “major speech” later Monday.

Clinton’s statement called on the U.S. “to redouble our efforts to defend our country from threats at home and abroad” while imposing new restrictions on powerful weapons. She also said to the LGBT community that she would “keep fighting for your right to live freely, openly and without fear.” And she postponed a Wednesday campaign event in Green Bay, Wisc.

Thus begins a new chapter in the already-blazing presidential race.

Read more: Georgia to be at center of presidential campaign


On that same note, we nailed down a copy of the invite to Trump’s fundraiser Wednesday. Beyond the names of Gov. Nathan Deal and Sen. David Perdue, the two lead hosts, also take note that RNC chair Reince Priebus is set to be in attendance.

The setting: The Atlanta estate of businessman and philanthropist Charlie Loudermilk.


One unnoticed result of Donald Trump’s appearance at last week’s Faith and Freedom Coalition’s big gathering in Washington, D.C.: Others in the evangelical world may be worried about Donald Trump as the topper of the Republican ticket in November.

But Ralph Reed isn’t. From

The Georgian said he rejects any suggestion that in the 2016 election conservative Christian and Catholic voters retreat into the “stained glass ghetto.”

Reed introduced the GOP presumptive presidential nominee Donald J. Trump as “a man, who has become a friend” as his third appearance to the annual Road to Majority forum. “Trump won the nomination with the votes of men and women of faith.”

As he listed the New York City developer’s accomplishments, Reed said that Trump’s TV show “The Apprentice” was so successful that Trump is trying to take the program’s catch-phrase: “You’re fired” and make it a trademark.


Our AJC colleague Alan Judd, at the American Medical Association’s meeting in Chicago, reports that for the second year in a row the group is considering whether to endorse background checks for buyers in every gun transaction. And he reports that a Georgia physician is at the center of the debate:

A medical student from California cited research suggesting that so-called universal background checks could reduce firearms deaths by 57 percent. Gun violence, she said, is “a public health crisis.” Other speakers representing psychiatrists, women doctors, minority physicians and others concurred.

But Dr. Mike Greene of Macon, a member of the Medical Association of Georgia’s board of directors, led a spirited attack on the proposal, raising questions about whether the AMA should involve itself in matters that are not solely medical.

“This is an issue we’re never going to completely agree on,” Greene said. He acknowledged that “some” evidence supports the theory that broader background checks would reduce homicides and suicides. But he wondered how many people pass background checks but go to kill themselves or others.

Meanwhile, another Georgia doctor is well-represented at the meeting.

A flyer for a Rep. Tom Price fundraiser.

A flyer for a Rep. Tom Price fundraiser.


Speaking of Tom Price, the Roswell Republican is featured in a recent New Yorker piece about the GOP elite struggling over Donald Trump and whether to embrace to presumptive nominee.

From the story:

Like others in the Party who have made the endorsement, Price seems to have convinced himself that Trump will be malleable, and that Price will have more leverage than Republicans who wait. “I think we will work hand and glove, I really do,” he told me on May 16th. “When I talk to people who work closely with Trump, what they tell me is that behind closed doors he’s one of the best listeners they’ve ever worked for or with in their life. Which is kind of counterintuitive given what some of his public persona is.”

Price has turned into something of a Trump super fan, akin to Chris Christie. He even compared Trump to Reagan. He pointed out that the Reagan realignment took a few decades. “It took a Goldwater race in 1964 and then a Nixon appreciating that the Republican Party had a constituency broader than what had been conventional in the past,” he said. “And then the philosophical ideological nature of Reagan bringing together the three large groups”—fiscal, social, and national-security conservatives—“to prevail in 1980.” 

The piece also says Price was the lawmaker who organized a recent effort in which nine U.S. House committee chairmen signed up to endorse Trump.

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