WASHINGTON -- Georgia GOP Senate candidate David Perdue has been going hard after the Chamber of Commerce, portraying himself as the anti-establishment choice who will fight monied interests like the business lobbying group, which has endorsed his opponent. The Chamber is now going a step farther, attacking Perdue in a last-minute ad that portrays him as a crying, complaining baby.
Voters head to the polls Tuesday to choose between Perdue and Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) in Georgia's GOP Senate primary runoff. Kingston has had a slight lead in the polls, and Perdue has been stepping up his attacks on his rival.
Perdue's main pitch to voters has been that he's a "conservative outsider." His closing attack ad contends the congressman's position on immigration is "bought and paid for" by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has spent more than $2 million supporting Kingston.
On Monday, the Chamber responded in kind with an ad of its own. (Watch it above.)
"Why is David Perdue attacking us?" asks the narrator in the 30-second spot. "Well, he sought our endorsement several times but didn't get it. Now, losing and desperate, David is crying like a little baby."
When asked for comment, Perdue spokesman Derrick Dickey pointed out that Perdue -- the former CEO of Dollar General -- is a businessman who won a prestigious award from the Chamber in 2007.
"I'm sure Chamber members are thrilled about the use of their resources to attack their 2007 Excellence in Leadership Award winner," said Dickey.
Kingston and Perdue were the top two vote-getters in the May 20 primary, beating a handful of more conservative candidates who many Democrats hoped would win. But because neither received a majority of the vote, the contest went to a runoff. The runoff has lasted nine weeks because a 2012 lawsuit by the Justice Department alleged a three-week contest disenfranchised military and overseas voters.
Both men were considered to be closer to the party establishment than some of their primary opponents, including Reps. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) and Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), who had tea party support.
The winner will face Democrat Michelle Nunn in the general election to replace outgoing Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.). Nunn was unopposed in her primary, so has been spared a contentious and costly battle so far.
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