David Perdue believes he is head and shoulders above his competition. That’s because he has solid business credentials to stand on.
Perdue is one of seven candidates seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. The others are Paul Broun, Karen Handel, Art Gardner, Phil Gingrey, Derrick Grayson and Jack Kingston.
“We have a closing window of opportunity (to solve America’s fiscal crisis),” Perdue said during Tuesday’s Thomas County Republican Party meeting at The Plaza. “I’m a business guy, and I look at this thing this way. We are bankrupt. There is no other way to put it.
“If (Congress) was a business, we’d put it down.”
Perdue, a political newcomer from Warner Robins and a Georgia Tech graduate, pointed to the nation’s $17 trillion debt and $86 trillion in commitments to pensions, Social Security, Medicare and other benefits.
He said Congress’ overall lack of business acumen is the reason for the overspending. He said only 10 current senators have a business background.
“If you want different results in Washington, you have to put a different type of person in Washington — someone who actually understands a little about the free enterprise system and someone who has actually grown something from an economic perspective, someone who has actually created jobs, not just brought jobs in,” he said.
During 40 years as a business leader, Perdue has proven to be adept at reviving struggling enterprises around the world. He led the massive expansion of Dollar General and Sara Lee, Hagar and Reebok enjoyed growth under his direction. He currently sits of the board of directors of five major corporations.
“I’m sorry, but if (Congress) was a business and we were getting the results we are right now, we would make some changes,” he said.
Perdue said 30 members of Congress have served at least 30 years. He also pointed out that Broun, Gingrey and Handel have held elective offices for a combined 63 years and run in a total of 39 elections.
“I’m offering an alternative,” Perdue said. “If you like what is going on, pick one of those four. Just don’t expect anything to change. If you want something different, I hope you will look at an outsider.”
Perdue criticized congressmen who brag about delivering goodies for special interests.
He said, “Remember, at the end of the day, they turn right around and hand you a credit card bill. Right now, that credit card bill total for each household in this room and each household in America is $1 million.
“You take the total commitments — the debt — is almost $1 million per household. That is almost unmanageable.”
Perdue blasted the budget projections President Barack Obama released a couple of weeks ago.
“He’s going to take our national debt from $17 trillion to almost $23 trillion in the next 10 years,” Perdue said. “To do that, he is also assuming a 7 percent growth in revenue, 4.5 percent growth in the economy and another 2.5 percent compound growth in taxes — new taxes — on top of an economy where one in five is unemployed.
“Guys, these are amateurs. They are absolute, card-carrying, certifiable amateurs, and I’m not just talking about President Obama and the 25 people who are around him. Look at our Senate. Ninety-five percent of them have no idea about what I just said, that last paragraph.
“That’s how critical I am of what’s going on.”
Perdue criticized the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. He said it unduly restricts financial institutions.
“I could not borrow money from my local bank like I used to, just for operating capital,” he said.
Perdue is not a fan of the Affordable Care Act, either. His family’s insurance policy was recently canceled because of the recently enacted law’s requirements.
“I got angry,” he said. “The audacity, the arrogance of somebody in Washington thinking they know more about what insurance — Blue Cross Blue Shield, a pretty good company — and I think is best for us! We negotiated that. It was a contract. I paid money and, by the way, and under the Affordable Care Act — yes, the Affordable Care Act — our premium doubled.
“It didn’t go up 10 percent or 20 percent. It more than doubled. You can’t make this stuff up.
“As a Senate candidate, I have a bully pulpit and I’m using it?”
Perdue advocated for a strong military and support of Israel. He had harsh words for the “apology tour” Obama took to countries in the Middle East during his first year in the White House.
“Do you realize the United States gives away more money as a country than the rest of the world combined — not just the government, I’m talking about philanthropy — you and me, and churches. It’s real. I’ve lived outside the country and seen it.
“To have our president go across the world and apologize (for its foreign policy), I’m sorry.”
Perdue added that Congress needs to stand up to the “imperial presidency.” He cited Obama’s numerous changes to the Affordable Care Act and alterations to veterans’ benefits.
“That’s a lack of leadership,” Perdue said. “It’s a mess, and it’s time to put some new players up there.”
Perdue said he is ready for the challenge. He is confident he can be effective despite opposition to change he might receive.
“Leadership is the answer,” he said. “If someone has a better idea, you have to sell it. If you are willing to lead and not get re-elected, you can get things done.
“If you get there, you have to be willing to make a difference.”