ATLANTA — President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday afternoon campaigned for Democratic U.S. Senate candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, emphasizing throughout his remarks that he needs the duo to win on January 5 in order to enact his and the national Democratic Party’s agenda.
Democratic socialist U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) recently told members of “The Squad” — U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) — that they would push Biden to be the “most progressive president” since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
According to Biden, he will need Warnock and Ossoff in office in order to make that kind of impact.
“I need two senators from this state,” Biden said on Tuesday, speaking at a drive-in rally at Pullman Yard in Kirkwood.
This was a theme throughout the event, which was kicked off by 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams. She stressed that Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris — who has been ranked as the nation’s most liberal senator — will “need help” from Ossoff and Warnock.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms spoke next, saying Warnock and Ossoff victories would “change the balance” in the U.S. Senate. Bottoms and Abrams both received effusive praise from Biden during his subsequent remarks.
However, before the main event, Ossoff spoke, followed by Warnock.
Neither candidate hid their commitment to acting as cogs for the national Democratic platform and for the Biden-Harris agenda.
“We have the power. … So much is riding on this,” stressed Ossoff. “We need to do right by Joe Biden. We need to make sure Joe Biden can pass his agenda.”
Ossoff then listed “the Civil Rights Act” as something that a Republican-controlled Senate could “block” in the coming Congress if he and Warnock are not elected. The Civil Rights Act, of course, was enacted in 1964. However, Ossoff has recently promised to “fight tirelessly to pass a New Civil Rights Act that strengthens civil rights laws and advances comprehensive criminal justice reform.” That proposal has not yet been fleshed out by Ossoff, who has advised he doesn’t “get bogged down in the details” on legislation and policy items.
Biden, Ossoff and Warnock avoided specifics about the type of law enforcement reforms that would be on their agenda. All three vaguely touted “criminal justice” reform as a priority but avoided any specific proposals. This comes after audio was leaked of Biden telling top Democratic activists in recent days that they should conceal their agenda to defund the police until after Georgia’s January 5 runoff election. However, about the same time Biden took the stage in Atlanta on Tuesday, it was reported that his designated nominees for Treasury secretary and deputy secretary this week met with “Defund the Police” supporters. The Biden-Harris Transition Team stated that the two Treasury picks in that meeting “reaffirmed their commitment to placing racial equity at the center of economic recovery.”
After mistakenly referring to Ossoff as “Orsoff,” Biden in his Tuesday speech declared, “It’s time to stand up.”
“Send me these two men, and we will control the Senate and we will change the lives of people in Georgia,” Biden proclaimed.
In a statement following Biden’s appearance, Republican National Committee spokesperson Savannah Viar said, “No matter what Joe Biden urges Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock to hide from Georgia voters, Georgians will remember that Ossoff and Warnock stand for Chuck Schumer’s far-left, radical agenda that includes raising taxes, a complete government takeover of our health care system and defunding the police.”
Additionally, U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), who is facing Ossoff, released a new video ad after the Biden rally:
— David Perdue (@Perduesenate) December 15, 2020
In-person early voting began on Monday for the runoff contests. Warnock is matched up against U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA).
Sean Ross is the editor-in-chief of The Georgia Memo and Yellowhammer News. You can reach him via email at Sean@GeorgiaMemo.com