Democratic Georgia Senate candidate Jon Ossoff took a shot at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Sunday – saying that if Democrats don’t win control of the upper chamber of Congress than McConnell will stonewall any legislation going through the Senate.
Ossoff, who faces a Jan. 5 runoff election against Republican Sen. David Perdue, told CNN’s “State of the Union” that President-elect Joe Biden’s administration needs “the capacity ... to govern in the midst of a crisis” and that a Republican-held Senate would hamper any initiatives put forth by the incoming White House, especially when it comes to dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
“We all know what’s going to happen if McConnell holds the Senate,” he said. “He will try to do to Biden and [Vice President-elect Kamala] Harris just like he tried to do to President Obama.”
Ossoff added: “It will be paralysis, partisan trench warfare, obstructionism as far as the eye can see at a moment of crisis when we need strong action,” he added.
Ossoff is one of two Democratic candidates competing against incumbent Republican senators in a pair of runoff elections. The other, Raphael Warnock, is going up against Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler.
Both Senate races went to a runoff after no candidate passed the 50% threshold needed to be declared the outright winner of the races per Georgia law.
The runoffs have drawn national attention as control of the Senate hinges on the outcomes. Republicans currently hold 50 seats in the Senate to the Democrats 48, but if Ossoff and Warnock win their respective races, there would be an even 50-50 split in the upper chamber. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would then act as the tiebreaking vote.
While the last Senate runoff in Georgia in 2008 resulted in the Democratic candidate receiving barely half the votes than the Republican, Ossoff said Sunday that he is optimistic about his chances of beating Perdue and pointed to recent polling and demographic changes in the state.
Georgia was once considered a reliably red state, but Biden was able to flip the state for the Democrats in the presidential election by a razor thin margin.
“A lot has happened in Georgia in 12 years, an extraordinary movement to register voters, to mobilize communities, to train volunteers to get out the vote,” Ossoff said.