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. bigo80

    Sax be Shambliss is a lowdown, dishonest man for using a war hero in his tv ad.

    November 21, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  2. Richardson, MO

    Dear Georgia,

    Bet on black for the red, white, and blue. Give Obama a chance to show us what he can do. He's a good man, let's help him so we can help ourselves to a better future.

    Obama/Biden/Martin 08

    November 21, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  3. truedemocrat

    I just love that John McShame continues to prove he has no ethics. He denounced Chambliss in 06 and now he loves him. What a joke.

    If a Democrat had dared to knock a true war hero like Max Cleland, the ruthuglicans, led by Hannity and gang, would have gone crazy.

    Did Hannity, Rush, Chenney, Bush, etc. fight for their country when it was their turn. NO!! What a bunch of chicken hawks. Send someone else to fight and then make fun of a real hero like Max.

    November 21, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  4. Matt

    @ Lisa, Saugus, MA

    Name someone outside of Washington who would be a good choice. The change wasn't necessarily that Obama would be hiring "outsiders" who have no experience or knowledge of the inner workings of was that he was going to actually pick knowlegable, experience, intelligent, informed individuals who don't simply act in their own narrow self-interest all the time like the Republican swine herd has done for the past 8 years. Get a life with teh buye's remorse line of crap. Nobody's buying it and you just damage your Republican Party more by refusing to give up on the negativity.

    November 21, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. Chuck

    Hey, you remember McCain's critical comments against Chambliss in the last election.

    When Chambliss swift-boated Max Cleland, a Vietnam war hero who left three limbs in Vietnam, McCain came out and said that what Chambliss did was not only reprehensible but unforgivable.

    How can anyone forget Chambliss and what he said to win at all cost. We remember. Chambliss should not be returned to Congress.

    November 21, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. Annie, Atlanta

    Noah – please define the infliction of damage, since it appears there isn't much more damage to actually inflict, after the last 8 years. We're screwed, and there may be no one able to fix what your party has done to us. Yet you keep voting for the guy with the R next to his name – it's perplexing. Like y'all are being herded.

    November 21, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. TJ

    I say, before you allow your "buyer's remorse" to set it, I say give him a chance. If he fails, everybody who voted for him will have "buyer's remorse" present company included.

    November 21, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  8. Tam/Stone Mountain

    I am a Georgia resident and Obama's network is working hard to get out the vote. I am a major Hillary supporter and voted for Hillary in the primary and voted for Obama in the General still hoping that Hillary had been the nominee. I must say I am very happy with Obama's choices for his administration and it shows that he truly does wants to actually get things done by choosing people he can learn from.

    I am glad the Dems sent the Power player Bill Clinton to Georgia he won the state twice but it still remains an up hill battle for Martin and our community needs to turn out the way we turmed out for Obama.

    November 21, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. joseph

    The dems will need the 60 in the legislature to get things done. Without it , the repubs will try to stop anything that the dems do to improve this ailing economy. Just look at the last 2 years the dems had the majority but they were denied the votes needed by the repubs and the veto power of the pres. didn't help either. Besides, Chambliss is known to be a racist which he has never tried to hide nor deny.

    November 21, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. Sheila43302

    To Mitch at 11:13 AM

    Who would be your suggestions for these Cabinet positions? If you have no answer, then you and others like you are going to continue to be part of the probem.

    November 21, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. Dave, Central Illinois

    It always fascinates me reading comments from such illuminaries as "tom" and "facts are facts" about how "backward thinking" people are who disagree with them politically. Isn't it interesting how the blue state's crime rates are so much higher than in red states, how much worse blue state's fiscal condition is than red states, and how much more government resources are consumed by blue states. I still remember the difference between the two states hit worse by Katrina – Louisianna and Mississippi. The inept mayor of New Orleans was hiding in his hotel room. New Orleans residents were sitting around waiting to be rescued at the bowl, being preyed on by gang thugs. The governor refuted Federal attempts to coordinate aid before the storm struck. Meanwhile, in Mississippi, people were helping each other clean up the mess and the governor was actually working closely with the Feds. So, I'll take the hard-working, help yourself and your neighbor thinking over the selfish, rely-on-others, blame-others thinking anyday.

    November 21, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  12. tedious898

    Lisa, Saugus MA and two are a match made in heaven (blind leading the blinder ; if there is such a word)

    I have one question for you: If you go to a doctor and his medical attention makes you terribly sick; when you choose another doctor are you going to expect that person to be working with neophyte staff members (new faces to medicine)? I don't think so.

    Pres Elect is choosing people that know what they're doing. With problems like we have now; would you expect us to find the latest Harvard graduate to get a critical position? Please think before you type.

    November 21, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. Ik

    All of you people are the reason this country is in the position it is in.

    When will you people stop voting for democrats and republicans? History proves all they ever do is line their own pockets.

    I penciled in Satan for president because the way I see it Satan was the lesser of the two evils.

    Tired of being Tired

    November 21, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  14. Larry

    Obama will single handedly do enough damage ,we need to have some safety stopgaps,Georgia PLEASE vote Republican.

    November 21, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. Bloomfield NJ

    This guys has to go period... like a reminder...

    November 21, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  16. Lisa in GA.

    Even though I do not trust either of the too.. I voted for Martin because he can give the senate the 60 needed.. but honestly I think he nad Saxby is both racist... both have done and said things that make me think twice about them representing anyone other than their kind in GA. Chambliss has doen nothing for GA.. other than Golfing his way thru the Senate .. we need a change and how Georgians recognize this.

    November 21, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  17. Lisa in GA.

    Two of the lesser evils......Even though I do not trust either of the too.. I voted for Martin because he can give the senate the 60 needed.. but honestly I think he and Saxby is both racist... both have done and said things that make me think twice about them representing anyone other than their kind in GA. Chambliss has done nothing for GA.. other than Golfing his way thru the Senate .. we need a change and hope Georgians recognize this.

    November 21, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  18. vic

    I hope the polls are overwhelmed with support for Martin.
    Chambliss needs to go... he's yet another disgraceful republican politician that needs the boot.

    November 21, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. Lisa in GA.

    To Noah... I can tell you are a right wing nutcase along witht he rest. Ga... voted for McCain and has basically always been a red state.. but people are waking up and hope you do too.... I see why the republicans favorablity rate is so low....... most of there supporters are now getting a clue.....

    November 21, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  20. Hope in NJ

    For goodness sake, BUYER'S REMORSE???

    Obama is a smart man with the sense to know that if he actually wants to accomplish something in Washington, he needs to ensure that he is surrounded with people who have the experience to know how to get things DONE in Washington. It's his agenda they will be following.

    I'm surprised that so many people are so quick to judge our new President based on a few cabinet appointments, all of which seem to be well thought out and all of which show a man who is confident and willing to surround himself with strong voices on all sides.

    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.

    Let's at least wait until he's had some time to govern before we start screaming buyer's remorse. People amaze me... So ready to criticize...

    November 21, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  21. MBFLA

    How anyone could support Chambliss is beyond me but then again every state has some hate filled racists who will insult anyone of honor to get elected.

    November 21, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Aren't there much more qualified and experienced African-American(s)who can also serve in the Obama Administration?

    November 21, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  23. Stevo in Ga,

    Lisa in Ga I totally agree with you! !

    Noah is one of those people who could benefit from some of Mr. Obama's future plans but of course he is in denial just like the entire GOP in Georgia !!!! The pathitic part is Noah will see someone like me and think everything was given to me, that I had special programs set aside for me, well i came up dirt poor and there is no Substitute for hard work and determination , i still believe in giving back to those who don't have even a boot srtap to pull themselves up by !!! Noah get on this train My friend or you will be left the dark .

    November 21, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  24. AJ

    Obama needs to be showing up in Georgia to rally the democratic vote. As we saw during the general election, Obama can bring out the vote when he wants to. He needs to go and campaign for someone other than himself. We need an many seats as we can get!!

    November 21, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  25. some guy

    Everything I have read about Chambliss makes me wonder what is wrong with the people who voted for him in the first place? He doesn't know what a recession is, yet he accuses others for their economic policies. He avoids fighting in Vietnam and then accuses a war hero of being unpatriotic.
    He's the worst kind of hypocrite and having him in the US Senate is a disgrace.

    November 21, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
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