Senate Debate Review

In last week’s debate ahead of the Jan. 5 runoff U.S. Senate election, Senator Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed to the Senate in January 2020, and challenger Rev. Raphael Warnock clashed about issues such as whether President Trump lost the election, the charge that Loeffler traded stocks on inside information about the pandemic, and racial justice.


The senator did not directly answer when asked if Trump had lost the election. “This process is still playing out, and President Trump has every right to a legal recourse,” Loeffler said, adding that she is pushing for a signature audit in the state. She refused to say whether she backed Trump’s condemnation of GA Governor Brian Kemp for not backing his attempts to overturn the election results.


To the charge that she dumped $30M in stocks after a private Senate briefing on the pandemic, Loeffler answered, “I have been completely exonerated.” Rev. Warnock said that the incident shows Loeffler is focused on protecting her own wealth while she voted against giving $600 to people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Warnock added that he is concerned Washington is not focused on ordinary people. "You can't tell the difference between Washington backrooms and corporate boardrooms. My opponent represents the worst of that kind of problem," he said.


A key moment came when Loeffler was asked by a moderator if she stands by her denouncement of the Black Lives Matter movement as “fascist,” and what she would tell a Black mom who fears for the safety of her husband and sons. Loeffler responded that she has “not a racist bone in my body.” She said, “the life of every African American in this country is important.”


In response, Warnock talked about two conversations Black parents have with their children: one about the birds and the bees and the other about how not to endanger themselves. Warnock reminded viewers that the Loeffler had been endorsed by U.S. Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor, who has repeated racist QAnon conspiracies and that Loeffler sat down with a white supremacist for an interview.


Loeffler repeatedly referred to her opponent as the “radical liberal Raphael Warnock” and warned that his socialist policies would destroy “our way of life.”


The last day for Georgians to register to vote in the January 5, 2021, runoff election is Monday, December 7, and early voting starts Monday, December 14.


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