November 21st, 2008
10:20 AM ET
13 years ago

Obama weighs in on Georgia Senate race

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Martin is seeking to unseat Sen. Chambliss."](CNN) - He may not be going there in person, but Barack Obama is lending his voice to the Democrats' efforts to win back a Republican-held senate seat in Georgia.

The President-elect speaks out in a new 60-second radio ad for Jim Martin, the Democratic challenger to freshman Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Martin and Chambliss face off in a runoff election on Tuesday, December 2.

Chambliss won a plurality of the vote 17 days ago on Election Day, but Georgia state law calls for the winner to grab 50 percent plus one vote. Due to the inclusion of a third party candidate, Chambliss fell just shy of that threshold, forcing a runoff contest.

In the radio ad, Obama says Martin, a former state lawmaker, will “do everything he can to help me change Washington and get America moving again.” Obama ends the ad with a plea to voters, saying “please join me in supporting Jim Martin for the United States Senate on Tuesday, Dec. 2, and head to the polls just one more time this year.”

Obama's turned more than two dozen field offices over to Martin’s campaign. A number of former Obama campaign workers and volunteers are also now in Georgia working for Martin.

Obama lost Georgia to John McCain, 52 percent to 47 percent. But that five point deficit was much closer than the 17 point defeat in Georgia Senator John Kerry suffered to President George W. Bush in 2004.

A number of big name surrogates have traveled to Georgia to campaign for the candidates. Former President Bill Clinton joined with Jim Martin at a rally in Atlanta Wednesday and former President Al Gore campaigns with Martin this weekend

The former Massachusetts Governor and former Republican presidential candidate teams up today with Saxby Chambliss at campaign events in Atlanta and Savannah.

Romney is the latest former GOP presidential candidate to stump with Chambliss. Last week Sen. John McCain returned to the trail to campaign with Chambliss, just 9 days after losing the presidential election to Obama. On Sunday, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination before dropping out in March and backing McCain, campaigned with Chambliss. Like Huckabee, Romney also ran for the GOP presidential nomination before ending his bid in February and backing McCain.

Both men could make another stab at presidential politics in 2012.

Romney's doing more than just campaigning for Chambliss. A spokesman for Romney earlier this week announced that Romney is contributing $5,000, through his Free and Strong American PAC, to Chambliss to help with the runoff election. Romney's PAC donated $2,300 to Chambliss earlier this fall.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Jim Martin
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. SMJ

    Larry...are you a plumber? Sound like one...

    November 21, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  2. SMJ

    johnlocke...can you name the lobbyists? Do you even know what they do? Oh...I can't and don't! Stop whining and watch experience at work....

    November 21, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. Phil in KC

    I wonder if Martin can win without Obama actually on the ballot. To be quite honest, I rather doubt it. And I'm not sure that an ad from Obama is that much of a help.

    November 21, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. PragmaTexan

    Being named Saxby should disqualify you right there!!!

    November 21, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. Tony R.

    As a GA voter, I'm not comfortable with giving EITHER party total control of both the White House and Congress, much less with a supermajority. At the same time, the record that Chambliss has and the way he treated the Vietnam Vet Max Cleland back in 2002 hasn't made my decision any easier. Why couldn't it be Florida that got stuck with this electoral predicament??

    November 21, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  6. E

    Chambliss is a horrible horrible man who accused a triple amputee Vietnam vet who dedicated decades of his life to the state legislature of being unpatriotic.

    November 21, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. Ik

    Anyone who would undermined the 2nd Amendment or try and re-write The United States Constituition should be shot for treason.

    Men smarter than any one alive today wrote what they did for a reason. And not for Neo-cons or Bleeding Heart Liberals to treat it like everything else they have ... with reckless abandonment.

    For the record Bill Clinton gave us NAFTA and deregulated Wall Street. So I am supposed to want this looser anywhere near The White House again?

    I don't think so.

    Just like I don't think we need any more democrats or republicans procreating at the rate they are. If they want to write a law that will help "change" something, write one that stops these people from breeding.

    They have killed my country and deserve nothing save maybe a boot to the head.

    Stop voting for democrats and republicans, they are the problem.

    November 21, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  8. Bill from GA

    The only time I remember Saxby not supporting the Bush policies was the farm bill, where Bush wanted to limit giving taxpayer money to farmers making over $450,000 a year. Saxby, in bed with rich farmers, say no limits. We need a change.

    November 21, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  9. rm


    Please give us the names that you were thinking Obama should pick.

    November 21, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  10. Joe Regis

    How can anybody caste a vote for a republucain this year after what they left us to deal with? I hope Martin is elected and the repub is sent to the wilderness for some times. No way, not this year.

    November 21, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  11. Biff

    Hope in NY said...

    "What would you have him do? Pick a whole bunch of neophytes who have never done anything and expect that things will magically 'change?' He needs people with practical know how around him. "

    this statement is funny... him = neophyte who has never done anything and expects that things will magically 'change?'

    November 21, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  12. TrueIndependent

    The result of this election should be telling.

    November 21, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. John S

    I am a Canadian citizen who probably knows more about Cleland than most Americans. This man was a true American hero that every American can be proud of.CLELAND, Joseph Maxwell,born in Atlanta, Ga., August 24, 1942,grew up in Lithonia and graduated from Lithonia High School 1960, graduated from Stetson University, DeLand, Fla. 1964 and received a Master’s degree from Emory University 1968. He served in the U.S. Army, making the rank of captain , was wounded in combat in Vietnam. Cleland was awarded the Silver Star and the Bronze Star for valorous action in combat. Due to his injuries, doctors amputated both of Cleland's legs above the knee and his right forearm. He was a member of the Georgia state senate from 1971-1975. His was unsuccessful with a run at the lieutenant governor job in 1974. He was a Senate staff member from 1975-1977, and he was appointed administrator of United States Veterans Administration by President Jimmy Carter in 1977, and served until 1981.He became Georgia's Secretary of State representative in 1982 through 1996. Was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1996, and served from January 7, 1997 to January 3, 2003. run for for reelection in 2002 was unsuccessful because of one person, by the name of Saxby Chambliss, who lied to fellow Georgians about his military career. All this from a leach like Saxby Chambliss who was too much of a coward to win an election on merit. How in God's name could any Georgian with an ouce of intelligence ever elect this man to represent them, I will never know.

    November 21, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. Pat F

    "Get America moving again" – What an egomaniac!

    November 21, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    Larry November 21st, 2008 1:16 pm ET

    Obama will single handedly do enough damage ,we need to have some safety stopgaps,Georgia PLEASE vote Republican.
    Ma! Larry said the R-word again!

    November 21, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  16. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    mitch November 21st, 2008 11:13 am ET

    i'm so disappointed in these cabinet picks, who cares about georgia? buyer's remorse is setting in.
    Hate, I feel.

    Very disturbing, it is.

    November 21, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  17. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    Restoring the balance in the Force, Obama is!

    November 21, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  18. Wait...What?

    People really have trust issues. I really think we over value trust. Right now the most important thing is who can get the job done and honestly the Republicans have failed us the last 8 years.

    If you honestly think these Cabinet picks aren't a change from the past 8 years then you haven't been following too closely.

    November 21, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  19. I Just Said Thanks, but No Thanks to Another 4 years of g.o.p. corruption, arrogance and incompetence

    Chambliss is a coward. He ran a rushpublican viscious campaign in 2002 and deserves to be booted onto the ashheap of political history.

    Come On Georgia – Support the President – Elect Martin

    November 21, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  20. KLEE

    I haven't heard Jim Martin speak – but I did hear Chambliss – I would not vote for Chambliss based on his backward and hateful comments – we don't need people like him as a representative of voters in this country.

    If you can't get a vote by honest representation of what you will do for your citizens – then we don't need you.

    November 21, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  21. Fred The Hammer Williams

    The fact that this guy Chambliss was allow to trash Max Cleland ... a white man ... a double amputee soldier ... dare I say it ... an example of what we want in our citizens ... as much of a hero as John McCain – if not more ...

    tells us all we need to know about the Republican party. There is no honor. I really question how Georgians could vote for Chambliss the 1st time around.

    I only hope this time they get it right and help President Elect Obama impliment the changes in behavior and results that we want to see out of the Washington crowd.

    Foot soldiers in Georgia ... please turn out ... Obama ... fire up those text messages....

    November 21, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  22. Bob Stephens

    Saxby Chambliss is another one of the Chicken Hawk Republicans that just lied up and down about Max Cleland, a triple amputee from the war, and called him a terrorist. Saxby is a dirt bag, and should be voted out this time. He is just another Bush suckup.

    November 21, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  23. rjb

    As a former vet, Saxby is a disgrace to the state and the country.
    This person trashed a war hero and Ga poeple elected him says you should all be sent to the front lines.
    I hope God looks better on Sax and the poeple of Ga than I do. He pucked on every vet and now wants your votes. Through that piece of crap out the door

    November 21, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  24. Salihu Takko (Nigeria)

    Dec 2nd georgian run off is another Pres-elect Vs Sen. McCains rumble!

    November 21, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
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