Businessman David Perdue (R) said his support for last year's government shutdown "speaks for itself," declining to dispute former charity executive Michelle Nunn's (D) characterization of his stance in a Thursday forum.
"The situation that we had in Washington was over ObamaCare," he continued before adding some nuance. "What I was saying was that we cannot default on our interest payments."
Nunn and Perdue squared off onstage in their first joint public appearance, with Nunn looking to paint herself as a business-friendly centrist and Perdue looking to tie her to President Obama throughout the event.
"David embraces what I believe is the attitude of gridlock in Washington," she said. "I don't think we need more prosecutors, I think we need more problem-solvers, I think we need more collaboration and less conflict."
Perdue fired back, painting himself as the true outsider in the race and saying that if Nunn wins the race the gridlock in Washington will continue.
"You know she'll be nothing more than a proxy for Harry ReidHarry ReidDraft House bill ignites new Yucca Mountain fight Week ahead: House to revive Yucca Mountain fight Warren builds her brand with 2020 down the road MORE and Barack ObamaBarack ObamaComedian Hasan Minhaj blasts Trump, media at WHCA dinner Trump invites Philippine's Duterte to the White House Social media users rip Fox graphic on economy under Trump, Obama MORE and you know nothing will change," he said.
Perdue and the Chamber repeatedly sparred throughout his primary following a heated meeting that led to the Chamber endorsing Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) in the primary, and Nunn looked to drive a wedge between her opponent and the center-right group's supporters at the event, hitting him for opposing the farm bill and his opposition to comprehensive immigration reform.
Public polling has found Perdue pulling into the lead in the race following his July primary win.
Perdue slammed Nunn for supporting ObamaCare, calling the law "unfixable" and "against the very grain of our American heritage." Nunn said she opposed repealing it, though she said she supports making some changes to it.
Nunn went hard after Perdue on immigration reform, which the Chamber has strongly backed.
"He not only opposed this, he actually ran ads distorting the position of the Chamber, the compromise position," she said.
Perdue fired back saying that not only illegal, but legal immigration, needed to be curtailed.
"We're bringing in twice as many legal immigrants today" than in other periods of high immigration, Perdue said.
"We need to secure our borders and create an immigration system that makes sense," he later said.
The race has heated up in recent weeks. Nunn is on the air slamming Perdue's business record, while EMILY's List, a group that backs pro-abortion rights Democratic women, is launching a major ad buy of its own to help her out. Ending Spending has also been on the air tying Nunn to President Obama.