“Really Nasty Stuff”: Pro-Loeffler Outside Group Ads Spark More Infighting as GOP Leaders Fracture During Qualifying Week

March 3, 2020

With Perdue refusing to back Loeffler as qualifying is underway, Loeffler’s outside allies now under fire from conservatives for “smear” ads against Collins

ATLANTA — Getting on the ballot is about the only good news so far this week for unelected “political mega-donor” Senator Kelly Loeffler as her own Senate colleague refuses to back her and her outside group allies are under new attacks from conservatives for their “really nasty” ads on her opponent Congressman Doug Collins.

Loeffler’s week began with a blunt statement from her supposed partner in the Senate David Perdue on her “nasty GOP fight”: he’s staying out of it. But after once again failing to lock down support from another prominent Georgia Republican, Loeffler and her outside allies came under fire from conservative outlets after airing “smear” attack ads against Collins. Decried as “really nasty stuff” by Fox News host Lou Dobbs, the ads linked Collins to efforts also supported by Republican leaders like President Donald Trump and Governor Nathan Deal.  

And like clockwork, the Loeffler criticism came as Washington Republicans “leveled a bitter attack on Collins” themselves, warning that Collins could “take down President Trump, the Republican majority in the United States Senate, two Senate seats and multiple House seats,” pouring gasoline on an already raging intraparty fire.

It may only be day two of qualifying week, but already the ongoing “brutal Republican-on-Republican fight” is showing no signs of stopping as Loeffler and Collins’ “battle royale” wages on through November.

Read more about the GOP’s messy qualifying week:

AJC: The Jolt: Conservative outlets look askance at Kelly Loeffler-Doug Collins battle

  • The battle between incumbent U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler and U.S. Rep. Doug Collins spread to conservative media outlets on Monday, after the Senate GOP campaign arm leveled a bitter attack on Collins, with more coming today.
  • Just before noon Monday, the National Republican Senatorial Committee issued this broadside:
  • “Collins is on a self-serving, spite-fueled, political kamikaze mission that threatens to take down President Trump, the Republican majority in the United States Senate, two Senate seats and multiple House seats.”
  • Look for this TV ad from the Senate Leadership Fund to hit soon, accusing Collins of consorting with liberals, and attacking his work on criminal justice reform at the state and federal level – efforts that have been backed by Gov. Nathan Deal and President Trump.
  • The Daily Caller took note. As did hard-right radio host Mark Levin, who took aim at another ad via Twitter: “Mitch McConnell is at it again. He’s using his Senate funding group to smear Doug Collins in support of another RINO.”
  • So did Lou Dobbs of Fox Business News. “That’s really nasty stuff,” Dobbs said last night.
  • As for Collins himself, on Monday he challenged Loeffler to a series of one-on-one appearances.

AJC: ‘A circus.’ Georgia candidates race to qualify for office

  • U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler was about to stand beside top Republican leaders to celebrate qualifying for a November vote to keep her seat when her most formidable GOP challenger stormed into the crowded Statehouse lobby.
  • Surrounded by TV cameras, U.S. Rep. Doug Collins of Gainesville declared he would not bow to pressure from party leaders to force him out of the messy Republican-on-Republican contest.
  • His message Monday to Loeffler and her supporters: “Bring it on.”
  • Perdue said…that he wouldn’t wade into the brutal contest over who should fill out the remaining two years of retired U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s term.
  • Perdue has his own problems to worry about. At least three prominent Democratic challengers are racing to compete against him.


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