President Donald Trump held his first Georgia runoff campaign rally with Republican senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler on Saturday, calling on “Georgia patriots” to “show up and vote for these two incredible people.”
“The voters of Georgia will determine which party runs every committee, writes every piece of legislation, controls every single taxpayer dollar,” Trump said Saturday night in Valdosta. “Very simply, you will decide whether your children will grow up in a socialist country or whether they will grow up in a free country.”
Republicans are banking on the rally to dispel recent calls to boycott the election from pro-Trump attorneys Lin Wood and Sidney Powell. While Trump disputed the November election results, he rejected Wood and Powell’s efforts to keep Republican voters away from the polls in January, asking voters to “do just the opposite.”
“That’s what Nancy Pelosi and [Chuck] Schumer want you to do—stay at home,” Trump said. “If you want to do something … to the Democrats, you show up and vote in record numbers.”
Leon Manley of Eatonton, a self-described “red-blooded patriot American,” told the Washington Free Beacon that he is concerned about “Democratic corruption” but plans to vote in the runoff and will “encourage people to vote.”
“That’s the most important right you have as an American citizen—your right to vote,” Manley said. “When you lose that, it’s over.” He added that his friends and family will “certainly” vote for Perdue and Loeffler in January.
Trump also railed against Georgia Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, saying the pair will be “pawns of Chuck Schumer.” A Republican loss in January would hand Schumer a de facto Senate majority, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris serving as the tiebreaker in a 50-50 upper chamber.
Trump’s visit came one day after Vice President Mike Pence made his second runoff campaign stop with Perdue and Loeffler. A who’s who of national Republicans have campaigned with the incumbent senators in recent weeks—Perdue took the stage Saturday after holding four events with Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R., Texas) as part of his “Win Georgia, Save America” bus tour.
The runoff is set to take place Jan. 5, and in-person early voting in the state begins on Dec. 14.