Perdue said the controversy Chambliss triggered when he suggested he was open to breaking with conservative activist Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge had been a "real net positive" for him, and dismissed talk that Chambliss could face a top-tier challenger as "rumors."

Republicans who haven't ruled out a bid against Chambliss include Georgia Reps. Tom Price and Paul BrounPaul Collins BrounHundreds apply to fill Isakson's Senate seat in Georgia Joe Lieberman's son running for Senate in Georgia California lawmaker's chief of staff resigns after indictment MORE as well as former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel.