ERICKSON: I back Jack

June 13, 2014 

I am sure David Perdue is a good and decent person. I have friends who keep telling me he is a good Christian man. I accept that. My problem with David Perdue has nothing to do with his faith or goodness as a person. It has to do with where he stands.

No one really knows. In the 10 years I have run RedState.com, I have had dozens and dozens of people running for Congress tell me what they believed in and where they stood on issues. Many of them have gone on to win and betrayed everything they claimed to stand for.

In the primary, I backed Karen Handel. I knew she would be solid. But she did not make it to the runoff. Politics is about choosing between various flawed people to find the one with the least flaws or the greatest knowns. I am backing Jack Kingston.

Kingston is not perfect. David Perdue, to be sure, looks like the perfect candidate. People want an outsider and Kingston has been in Congress a long time. But even on the outside, Perdue has used his connections to benefit his companies. For an outsider, he is comfortable with the insiders. Kingston, an insider, has never been so comfortable with the insiders.

When Kingston ran for Appropriations Chairman, the House Republican leaders rejected him largely because they thought he would not spend enough. High praise indeed, if you ask me. Certainly Kingston has a record on which to run, but with Perdue there is no record, only a last name and great commercials. I am tired of putting my trust in that.

What I know about Perdue is that he is a corporate CEO. In my experience as a political consultant and running a large political site for grassroots activists, corporate CEOs make bad candidates and terrible senators. A corporate CEO has more in common with Wall Street than Main Street. The world view of a corporate CEO -- particularly one who lives in the gated community of a gated private island -- is vastly different from the world view of the small business owner in Bonaire or Cordele or Macon.

These guys always, without fail, get into the Senate and decide they are going to be the ones to transcend politics. They are going to be the ones to cut the deal that gets the grand bargain and overcome such insignificant things as partisan ideology. Inevitably, they are the ones who decide they can restructure the tax code to raise taxes without calling it a tax increase. Frankly, I do not want any more deal makers in Congress who want to make Washington work. I want Washington to leave me alone.

Perdue’s statements about high school graduates, traveling the world, revenue, etc. suggest to me that a Perdue vs. Nunn race would be an insufferable season of smug. No, thank you.

With Jack Kingston, I know what I will get. He is one of the kindest, most decent men in Congress. During his time there, Kingston has been deeply pro-life. He has shown a willingness to tell his own side no and has the scars of leadership contests to prove it.

Kingston is not the fiscal conservative that I am by any means. But he is not the spendthrift that so many in Washington are. With Kingston, we will have a man who will not grow in office toward the cocktail circuit and media spotlight. We will have a champion for Georgia, and I will take that gladly.

Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor and radio talk show host in Atlanta.

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