Republican In Crucial Georgia Special Election: ‘I Do Not Support A Livable Wage’ | THE POLITICUS

Republican In Crucial Georgia Special Election: ‘I Do Not Support A Livable Wage’

You have undoubtedly heard the name Jon Ossoff by now. He is the Democratic Party candidate for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. The seat was vacated by Republican Tom Price, who took a job as Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary. When a seat is vacated in circumstances like this, a special election is held, and like other special elections so far this year, Georgia’s is expected to be a bellwether for how the midterm elections might go in 2018. If Ossoff, a liberal Democrat, can defeat his Republican opponent in a solidly red state like Georgia, the conventional wisdom says, so may go the country.

Ossoff’s has been for the Democrats thus far and has moved on to a runoff election after he very narrowly failed to win the seat outright in late April. His only remaining opponent is Republican Karen Handel, who garnered less than 20 percent of the vote in the primary election. Now Handel seems to be hurting her cause even further.

On Tuesday, the two candidates met for a debate in advance of the June 20th election. They essentially stuck to the platforms of their respective parties, but in doing so, Handel may have doomed herself.

She didn’t really say anything different than Republicans have been saying for years: They’re not interested in raising the minimum wage, nor pegging it to inflation, or really anything that would cost the GOP’s corporate overlords one extra penny. But it was her specific choice of words that will surely come back to haunt her. When asked about an increase in the minimum wage, which in Georgia matches only the federal requirement of $7.25 per hour, she fumbled:

This is an example of a fundamental difference between a liberal and a conservative. I do not support a livable wage.

Those seven words are certain to be featured prominently in every ad from the Ossoff campaign for the rest of the month. But really, it is the statement in its entirety that struck me. Not only was she saying she didn’t support it, but she implied that no Republican supports it. She’s right — they don’t. But has she tied her inartful choice of words around the necks of other Republicans running tight races, who may have been more creative in their hatred of the poor?

Let’s hope so.

Featured image via Joe Raedle/Getty Images