With just days until the hotly contested Republican Senate primary in Georgia, Rep. Phil Gingrey – a doctor who has delivered 5,200 babies – says he will be the voice of blue-collar Georgians in Washington and maintains his vow to repeal Obamacare in his first six years in office.
The six-term congressman also blasted apparent GOP front-runner David Perdue for being more concerned with his own well-being than the condition of people in his state struggling to make ends meet.
According to recent polls, Perdue, Rep. Jack Kingston and former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel are in a tight race for the top two spots that will advance to a July runoff. Gingrey and Rep. Paul Broun are a a bit further back.
Perdue and Handel take frequent shots at the three members of the House, suggesting they are part of the problem in Washington and do not deserve a promotion to the Senate. Gingrey said he is the perfect balance of someone who spent most of their life in the private sector but has also worked to help people through his public service.
“Does congressional experience matter? Clearly it does. I think people can stay too long in Congress, but I was a physician for 32 years and I’ve been a member of the House of Representatives for 11. This is my sixth term. So if you just do the subtraction, it comes out on the side of being a professional physician and not a professional politician,” Gingrey said.
The congressman said the House has done a lot of good work to improve job creation and preserve freedoms while the Democrats in the Senate do nothing.
“We have voted repeatedly to rein in the EPA, to rein in Obamacare, to try to create jobs, to stop Cap and Trade. We do things. We send them to the Senate, which is, of course, controlled by the Democrats and Harry Reid. They just sit on it and do nothing,” he said.
“So these two candidates for the Republican nomination for Senate from Georgia who are not in the House of Representatives, who have no experience in that venue, it’s so easy for them to criticize and fire shots at us, but the truth is experience definitely helps.”
Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga.:
Gingrey exhibits especially little patience for Perdue, the Dollar General CEO who appears to be leading the charge for one of the top two slots next week. The two have sparred on the airwaves as well, with both using crying babies to lampoon each other and some of the other candidates. The congressman also strikes somewhat of a populist tone in comparing himself with Perdue.
"He's been all over the world, and he touts his business experience and the fact that he has been CEO of several Fortune 500 companies. He is purportedly worth $50 million, and he says we just need a new person in Washington," Gingrey said.
"I represent those blue-collar Republicans, the people that are not really protected by a safety net because of poverty. They're not rich and getting richer like David Perdue. They're just hard-working, conservative Georgia Republicans who seem to have been forgotten, and no matter how hard they work, it's like being on a treadmill and falling further and further behind. That's the kind of people I represent.
"Ultimately, that's what's going to get me in the run-off, get me the nomination on July 22 and ultimately give me the Senate seat come November," he said.
One of Gingrey's boldest tactics in the campaign was to promise not to run for re-election if he failed to repeal Obamacare in his first term, a vow he says is getting a lot of attention from voters.
"As a physician of 32 years, I think people understand that I am one who has worked tirelessly to repeal the most egregious aspects of the bill and, of course, voted five or six times to repeal the bill, lock, stock and barrel," he said. "When we take over the Senate, and I think we will, and win the presidency in 2016, then we'll have the whole ball of wax, and I'll still have four years on my first term. By golly, if I can't get it done for the people of Georgia in that length of time, then I probably should get out of the way and let somebody else take my place."
Gingrey said his get-out-the-vote operation is in full swing and will be key to advancing to the runoff. He encourages voters to visit his House website to track his voting record over the past 12 years and his campaign website to learn what he would do if elected to the Senate.