Georgia Senate hopeful hits GOP opponent on business background

Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn is targeting her Republican opponent, businessman David Perdue, for his leadership of a company that went bankrupt in a scathing new ad that features the testimony of workers affected by the bankruptcy.

In the minute-long ad, former employees of Pillowtex, a manufacturing company in North Carolina, recount the “promise” they felt when Perdue came on as CEO of the company in 2002, and tell how they feel he let them down when the mill closed about a year after he arrived.

“He walked away with his $1.7 million and didn’t care about if we had a dollar in our pocket,” says one woman, identified as a 32-year employee of Pillowtex.

Another woman, who worked there 15 years, says “they were running as fast as they could with as much money as they could get out of the company, and just pretty much left us there hanging.”

Perdue faced similar attacks from his Republican primary opponents, and then asserted he held no responsibility for the bankruptcy because the company was worse off than it had seemed.

"I was not given the opportunity to turn it around as I had planned," Perdue previously told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "There were factors beyond my control."

Still, the ad packs a powerful emotional punch, and undercuts one of Perdue’s main rationales for his candidacy: His successful business career, spent turning around struggling companies, a skill he says he wants to bring to Congress and the economy.

A similar ad sought to vilify Romney for his work with Bain Capital during his 2012 presidential run.

The perception of Romney as a cold and calculating businessman dogged him throughout the campaign and helped Obama overcome a difficult political climate and struggling economy.

Democrats appear to be banking on a similar strategy to tackle a much tougher political climate in Georgia, where they believe a strong candidate and the purpling of the state could help them overcome Georgia’s inherent preference for Republicans.

More in Governor races

Vitter’s GOP opponent endorses Democrat

Read more »