Jon Ossoff: Democratic candidate for Georgia warns of “paralysis” if Republicans retain control of Senate

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“We all know what’s going to happen if McConnell holds the Senate – he will try to do to (Joe) Biden and (Kamala) Harris, just like he tried to do to President (Barack) Obama. It will be paralysis, partisan trench. war, obstructionism as far as the eye can see at a time of crisis, when we need strong action, ”Ossoff told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday on the State of the Union.

Ossoff stressed the need for a functioning government at a time when Americans in Georgia and across the country struggle to feed themselves, keep their businesses open, and deal with potential evictions and foreclosures.

The fate of the Senate majority lies in Georgia, where the two January polls will determine which political party controls the US Senate. Republicans currently control the chamber with McConell at the helm, but if Democrats win both seats, there will be a 50-50 tie in the Senate, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris could serve as a tiebreaker.

Ossoff faced Republican Senator David Perdue in November, and neither candidate received more than 50% of the votes needed to prevent a runoff. They will face each other again on January 5 in a second round.

MAP: see the results of the 2020 elections

The Justice Department opened an investigation into Perdue earlier this year, after its sales of shares raised questions about possible insider trading, but the Justice Department ultimately refused to prosecute, according to the New York Times.

In response to the allegations against Perdue, Ossoff called his opponent a “crook.”

When asked on Sunday whether calling Perdue a “crook” was a fair charge, given that the Justice Department had found no evidence of a crime and had not filed a complaint against Perdue, Ossoff doubled down on his asks and added that Perdue needs to explain herself for her financial behavior.

“I think a sitting US Senator exploiting his office, exploiting his access to privilege and information, exploiting his power to enrich himself while his own constituents suffer and die, turns Senator Perdue into a con artist,” said Ossoff told Bash.

“And he’s scared to come out and debate me because he won’t respond to these accusations because he can’t defend the indefensible,” Ossoff added.

Perdue declined an invitation from the Atlanta Press Club to debate Ossoff on December 6 and will instead be represented by an empty podium. Perdue also drew fire after withdrawing from a debate with Ossoff just before Election Day.

Ossoff achieved national notoriety in a 2017 special House election, in which Ossoff, a political newcomer at the time, nearly won in a long-standing Tory stronghold in Georgia. He ultimately lost to Republican Karen Handel in what at the time was the most expensive home race in history.

CNN projected Joe Biden the winner of Georgia, becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate in 28 years to win the state in a presidential election. Bill Clinton won the state in 1992. Biden’s historic success was fueled by grassroots organization and a rapidly diverse electorate, and was the culmination of slow and steady gains in the state by the Democratic Party. .

The other closely watched race in Georgia is between Democratic Reverend Raphael Warnock and Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler.

CNN’s Chandelis Duster contributed to this report.

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