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April 03, 2014 11:27 AM “There’s a High School Graduate in This Race”

By Ed Kilgore

Well, I figured it was a matter of time until the True Conservatives of the Republican Party in my home state of Georgia found a way to put up some kind of resistance to the takeover of their U.S. Senate primary by a rich interloper who’s basically bought a lead with substance-free ads.

After three straight polls showing bidnessman David Perdue leading the Senate field, somebody leaked a video of the Dollar General CEO getting on his high horse at a local party event in January:

I mean, there’s a high school graduate in this race, OK? I’m sorry, but these issues are so much broader, so complex. There’s only one candidate in this race that’s ever lived outside the United States. How can you bring value to a debate about the economy unless you have any understanding about the free enterprise system and how — what it takes to compete in the global economy?

The “high school graduate” bit is an allusion to Karen Handel, a once-formidable candidate who is not doing well and has absolutely nothing to lose by making resentment of this comment the centerpiece of her campaign. As for the “lived outside the United States” credential, this really sounds strange coming from a member of the party whose last president had rarely even left the country before entering the White House.

It will be interesting to see if any of the conservatives expressing indignation about the “elitism” of Bruce Braley’s remarks about Chuck Grassley captured in another video that was released last week will take notice of Perdue’s gaffe.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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