Handel gets help from Trump in Atlanta in 6th District race

President Donald Trump waves at a crowd of people waiting as he arrives at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. KENT D. JOHNSON/ kdjohnson@ajc.com

President Donald Trump praised Karen Handel as an “incredible” Republican candidate for Georgia’s 6th District at an Atlanta stop on Friday and slammed Democrat Jon Ossoff as a supporter of “open borders” that would lead to a wave of crime.

Handel has wholeheartedly embraced Trump ahead of a June matchup against a surging Democrat, securing financial help for her costly campaign but also embarking on potentially treacherous political ground in a district that was skeptical of him.

In the run-up to last week’s special election, Handel was chastised by GOP opponents for rarely summoning Trump’s name at campaign events and confronted by voters demanding to know how ardently she supported the president. But after landing a spot in the June 20 runoff against Ossoff, she has gladly accepted Trump’s help in what Republicans see as a must-win special election.

“She’s totally for the NRA and she’s totally for the Second Amendment. So get out and vote,” Trump said at the NRA event. “You know, she’s running against someone who is going to raise your taxes to the sky and destroy your healthcare.”

He also poked fun at the crowded special election last week to represent the suburban Atlanta district.

“By the way, in primaries, let’s not have 11 Republicans run for the same position,” he said. “It’s too nerve shattering.”

It was the latest in a series of public interventions from a White House said to be nervously watching the race for the 6th District, which stretches from east Cobb County to north DeKalb County.

Trump hosted a glitzy fundraiser for Handel on Friday after a speech at the National Rifle Association’s convention in Atlanta, guaranteeing a hefty cash infusion for a candidate who has long struggled to keep up with the fundraising hauls of her opponents.

 

He also sent a barrage of tweets ahead of last week’s election and recorded a robo-call encouraging Republicans to vote against Ossoff, a 30-year-old former congressional aide. And he and Handel shared what the candidate called a “very gracious” phone call after Republicans narrowly blocked Ossoff from an outright win.

“We know what’s at stake here is bigger than any one person,” she said of the president’s support. “In the next two months, we need every single Republican we can get — including the president — to be coalesced and united.”

Ossoff said in a statement the president is “misinformed” on the issues.

“I’m focused on bringing fresh leadership, accountability, and bipartisan problem solving to Washington to cut wasteful spending and grow metro Atlanta’s economy into the Silicon Valley of the South,” he said.

Trump’s growing role in the campaign risks invigorating Democrats and turning off some Republicans in a district he struggled to win. Trump carried the establishment-friendly district by less than 2 points in November, underperforming past Republican presidential candidates who notched landslide margins there. And the GOP candidates in last week’s election who were most closely aligned with the president fared poorly.

Scores of Democrats reacted to the news of Trump’s fundraiser for Handel late Tuesday with vows to pump more money into Ossoff’s campaign. In an interview Wednesday, Ossoff said he was not worried about Handel’s appearance with Trump.

“Time will tell. I’m not particularly concerned about the comings and goings of figures from Washington,” he said. “I’m focused on the economic message I’ll be taking to the voters of the 6th District.”

National Democrats tried to seize on the moment. Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez sent a string of tweets saying that Handel and Trump are “2 peas in a pod” and are “all talk, bad action.”

Read more: Karen Handel embraces Donald Trump ahead of 6th District runoff

Reader Comments 0

101 comments
Lexa King
Lexa King

Help? With his numbers? More like a ball and chain. Vote Ossoff!

Stephen Tzarphati Bailey
Stephen Tzarphati Bailey

Has ANYONE.....anyone at all......asked Ossoff exactly HOW he is going to do all those Pie-in-the-Sky things he talks about ??????

Patricia Baker Charles
Patricia Baker Charles

Only if they live in the 6th. This race must be watched closely or the Pubs will cheat!

Brenda Addison
Brenda Addison

Salute PRESIDENT TRUMP ! AMERICAS REAL AND LEGAL AMERICAN PRESIDENT ! Ty

Ernest McGraw
Ernest McGraw

Don't send another socialist liberal to D.C., Osloof is playing possum

Janice McMahan
Janice McMahan

Ossssooooffff is disgusting liar..now has another fool .." Oh yes..I knew him..etc etc". Polluting our t v... Funny funny fools !!!

Bethany Walsh
Bethany Walsh

Are you aware Handel quit her job in the middle of her term?

Janice Sternik
Janice Sternik

Ossoff is weird and a Obstructionist. Use your brain in stead of your hate.

Ross L Porter
Ross L Porter

Lol with his sad approval rating she must be desperate

David Holt
David Holt

Reckon someone on the right will recognize that Trump's endorsement is the kiss of death anytime soon?

Randy Cannady
Randy Cannady

Good to see our honorable and esteemed prez is lending his support to Karen! Now, let's make the 6th district "Great again!"

Ruby Polite
Ruby Polite

Every Democrat Vote Gor OSSOF. I'm Voting For OSSOF.

Donna Gates Kelly
Donna Gates Kelly

Not sure i would classify him as help.. It might be more like doomsday for her. Ossoff.........

Lou Edna
Lou Edna

Ossoff was born and grew up in 6th district. Karen Handel was born in Washington DC and grew up in Maryland. Vote Ossoff

Robin Middlebrooks
Robin Middlebrooks

Handel would fit right in with those crooks! She the same as they are! Crooked as hell!

Jon Crumbley
Jon Crumbley

Can't take anything for granted. Can't let the carpetbagger Ossoff steal the seat.

Bethany Walsh
Bethany Walsh

Please google carpetbagger and you spelled Handel wrong

Georgia Blue
Georgia Blue

Oh, so she can't win on her own merits? Does she have any?

Georgia Blue
Georgia Blue

OSSOFF grew up in the district, so you clearly don't know what carpetbagger means.

Jon Crumbley
Jon Crumbley

Actually yes. Former successful Georgia Secretary of State. Successful Fulton county chairwoman that produced a surplus. And she's actually a resident of the district. Not a carpetbagger like Ossoff. #MAGA!

Jon Crumbley
Jon Crumbley

I do. He's a brainwashed liberal Pelosi puppet. Take that mess to San fransissy. Also carry your sorry Democratic tail away from Georgia. We don't need you.

Jeri Henson Dies
Jeri Henson Dies

Trump is the carpetbagger of humanity. Foolish people will vote away their humanity just to spit in the eye of other Americans.

Larry Walker
Larry Walker

Speaking of winning on their own merits????? Who is leading the democrat candidate - that would be the Hollywood liberals and the different organizations of george soros. Not good.

Larry Walker
Larry Walker

Jeri Henson Dies How much humanity have you seen from the liberals. There have been protests that turned violent, buildings set on fire, interstate highways illegally blocked, automobiles that were destroyed and on and on. Have you checked into the background of your candidate? If not, you should.

Jonathan Webb
Jonathan Webb

Larry Walker , corporate funding happens on both sides. Don't demonize Soros without the astroturfer themselves Koch brothers. I'm not a liberal but the protests are a response. Do you understand what poverty is like? Not being able to pay a debt because you're poor is a crime! Being in poverty is living life dodging bullets, either literally or metaphorically. After generations of suffering, the people will fight back. Just ask Britain.

Susan Coppola Gill
Susan Coppola Gill

If you can't spell his name right, and spell lose, "loose" then you're a true representative of the lefty sheeple.

Thomas E. Sims Sr.
Thomas E. Sims Sr.

Susan, you spell lose they you want, I prefer to emphasize loose spell my way. I would rather be lefty steeple, rather than A Republican. Cheaters and Liers.

Nolan Sims
Nolan Sims

Thomas E. Sims Sr. ah....ebonics in action!

Susan Coppola Gill
Susan Coppola Gill

Thomas E. Sims Sr. Really? Want to go there about lies? How about"if you like your plan, you can keep your plan?" Telling Syria not to cross the imaginary line and then wussing out. There are too many lies to list, and that's just from obama; forget all the other LIARS (correct spelling) in the demoncratic party (and I do mean DEMONcrat.) You know how I know the demoncrats are glorified slime? I supported Hillary in 2008 and watched what they did to her---the same thing they did to Bernie last year.

Larry Walker
Larry Walker

Susan Coppola Gill Agree with you Only difference is, I have never supported hillary clinton in anything. She is crooked.

Brenda Addison
Brenda Addison

Never assoff ! He's just another 2 cent lying BARGAIN politician .