Johnny Isakson’s ‘no apologies’ approach to Donald Trump

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. Kent D. Johnson, kdjohnson@ajc.com

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. Kent D. Johnson, kdjohnson@ajc.com

It comes up at just about every event Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson holds: A question from a voter (or a pesky reporter) about Donald Trump’s influence on his quest for a third term.

It happened again at Isakson’s appearance at the Roswell Rotary, where a voter asked for his view of Republicans who refuse to rally around the party’s nominee. And his answer echoed his past responses to the thorny topic.

“The first person I’m interested in is me,” he said to laughs from the crowd. “I am not an egotistical person, but I enjoy my job.”

Isakson has endorsed Trump and encouraged Republicans to “volunteer for the Army of America” and line up behind the party’s nominee at the party’s convention in Cleveland. He said Thursday that was his first and likely last speech on riding the Trump train.

But as polls tighten and a growing list of national Republican figures flee Trump, and the businessman grabs headlines for more controversies, Isakson is under more pressure to distance himself from the party’s standard-bearer.

On Thursday, he said he will make no apologies for Trump’s doings. As a certain ink-stained wretch outlined Trump’s latest troubles, the lawmaker interrupted.

“Let’s draw the line right here: I’m going to apologize any time I do something stupid. I’m going to be responsible for my actions, but I’m not going to assume responsibility for anyone else’s,” he said. “What I say is what I say. I’m not an apologist for anybody, and if somebody’s offended somebody, they need to be the person apologizing, not me.”

He was then asked if he still stood by Trump.

“I made one speech about that subject, in Cleveland, to our delegation to support our party,” he said. “And I am supportive of our party and I’m a member of the party. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll released last week gives Isakson a 6-point lead over Democrat Jim Barksdale, a political novice abandoned by several of his party’s top leaders. With Libertarian Allen Buckley hoping to draw disillusioned Republicans to his campaign, some analysts view a runoff as a more distinct possibility. And Isakson said the talk is premature.

Georgia “is going to be red in the Senate race, that I’m sure of. And I’m working hard to make sure that happens. There are a lot of people trying to make Georgia purple, but they tried that two years ago and it proved to be wrong.”

He added: “But I take nothing for granted this year.”

Reader Comments 0

42 comments
Keith Davis
Keith Davis

Trump is fine, he's just exposing the corruption of our government. He has what it takes to turn this country around and get things back on track.

Charles Sharpe
Charles Sharpe

My vote will be against a sorry excuse for a true man ... Enjoy your retirement

Nathaniel Clark
Nathaniel Clark

awful things he has said, then you are no better than he.

Nathaniel Clark
Nathaniel Clark

If you endorse someone who makes terrible statements bordering on stupidity, and you are fully aware of the

Steve Stanley
Steve Stanley

Georgia politics news now is a left-wing organization with the left-wing agenda. If you can't vote for trump stay home

Liz Dadin
Liz Dadin

Time for old Johnny to go home. Dear John.

Ann Young
Ann Young

Johnny is a closet Trump worshipper like so many Republicans

Ann Young
Ann Young

Let's hear some apologies for bigotry, hate, racism and liars, cop murderers, and for Trump and his worshippers

Tom Holloway
Tom Holloway

When Isakson had his opportunities to speak up for the good of the American people and to stand up for Georgians ... he cowered and failed.

Juanita Gates Butler
Juanita Gates Butler

WELL MR ISAKSON YOU NEED TO START APOLOGIES FOR YOU BACK STABBING WE GEORGIANS WHO WANT TRUMP AND NOT YOU WHO HAVE BEEN WORKING TWO YEARS BEHIND CLOSED DOORS WITH OBAMATO PUSHA BILL TO SEND MORE OF AMERICANS MONIES TO OTHER COUNTRIES!!!!!!!!!!!! GET OUT OF OFFICE AND PLEASE GEORGIANS DO NOT VOTE HIM IN, THERE IS ANOTHER REPUBLICIAN WHO IS RUUNING VOTE FOR THEM

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

Who's supposed to be apologizing for Hillary? Haven't seen that headline AJC?

Bob Miller
Bob Miller

Isakson, Traitor to Georgia and the USA !

Monte Poitevint
Monte Poitevint

Let's hear some apologies for the destruction, looting and assaults in Milwaukee. Let's hear some apologies for the racist, murdering, vandalizing and incredibly stupid BLM. Let's hear some apologies for the execution of police officers. Let's hear some apologies for the radical, racist, anti-American, treasonous abomination that is at present defiling the WH. Let's hear some apologies for the lying, corrupt Butcher of Benghazi. Let's hear some apologies for the corrupt Obama DOJ that considers justice the covering up of crimes. Let's hear some apologies for the current DNC, the most evil institution in American history. This leftist rag is a joke.

Bob Miller
Bob Miller

He's the biggest RINO in Georgia!

Monte Poitevint
Monte Poitevint

I hated to see him take the primary. He's served no useful purpose for the people of Georgia.

Von Massey
Von Massey

I agree with Johnny - It is BS for someone to play a political game where other people try to compel an apology for the actions or words of another politicians in the same party or elected body of government. You stand on your own record and your own vote.

Rob Danner
Rob Danner

Yes Johnny is much much better for us than the Democrat

Naomi Hardin-Cantrell
Naomi Hardin-Cantrell

SHOULDN'T HE BE VOTED OUT AS WELL?!? LET'S VOTE DEMOCRATIC ALL THE WAY. LET'S MAKE GA A BLUE STATE. THE OTHER PARTY HAS HAD CONTROL LONG ENOUGH, DON'T YOU AGREE...? THANK YOU!

Mary West
Mary West

Voting for Democrats will only get us into abject poverty, abrogate our Constitution & Bill of Rights, and promote the agendas of those who wish to destroy us. Are we really willing to throw away the hard fought freedom we should be passing to our children??!!!

Naomi Hardin-Cantrell
Naomi Hardin-Cantrell

WHAT!!! WHAT HORRIBLE DEMOGOGARY!!! WE'RE YOU IN THIS COUNTRY DURING THE PAST 8 YEARS OF RETHUGLIKKKAN LEADERSHIP/MAJORITY IN BOTH HOUSES?!? WOW, IT'S NO WONDER OUR CHILDREN ARE SO FAR BEHIND THE NATIONAL AVERAGE IN PUBLIC EDUCATION!!! IT'S THE UNEDUCATED "ADULTS" WHO ARE PERPETUATING IGNORANCE IN THE HOMES. WOW!!! UNBELIEVABLE!!!

Erika Herrin
Erika Herrin

Time to go November , this man needs to be voted out Ga

Frances Dixon
Frances Dixon

I am so tired of you and your lack of representing your state in a constructive way

Sherle Cobb Beck
Sherle Cobb Beck

I don't apologize for anyone except myself.including grown children and my husband

Bobby Thomas
Bobby Thomas

Way past time to retire him. Vote him out this November. Actually, vote all of them out of office.

Jonathan Stamey
Jonathan Stamey

Didn't get the reaction you hoped for the first time you post this garbage? Insanity is doing the same thing over n over expecting different results. Good ole boy Isakson has voted along democrat party lines for years and his constituents are ignored. Now he is getting democrat backing in his senate campaign, more proof his tenure should be up. Why is Trump so hated by both sides? Because he is not part of the good ole boy system, he is not politics as usual. They attack him bc they fear him. They fear him bc he cannot be controlled. They fear for their "entitlements" and ultimately their jobs.

Pamela La Fountain
Pamela La Fountain

He is hated from both sides because he is a hate mongering idiot narcissist.

Charles Winslette
Charles Winslette

Pamela La Fountain, big words meaning nothing!! Trump 2016!!!

Jonathan Stamey
Jonathan Stamey

Why is it the left and now the right are screaming racist? In your "educated" opinion, how is he a hate monger?

Jonathan Stamey
Jonathan Stamey

Good debate points. I guess since your case is so strong I'm going to have to side with you. But on the other hand he's not a lying corrupt murdering thieving traitor. So I'll stick with trump you can have Hitlerly.

Sara Huff
Sara Huff

Time for him to decide if he loves his party more than his country!!!

Atl50
Atl50

Barksdale has zero experience. We have no idea what he truly would stand for or how he would represent Georgia's interests. Isakson is a proven leader who serves on two very influential committees. He's one of the hardest working leaders in Georgia and Washington. The loss of his leadership would be bad for Georgia, and the United States, especially considering the two weak candidates for the presidency.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Vote for Barksdale (D), not Isakson (R), for Georgia's senator in November.  I do not trust any politician who would support Donald Trump.