Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn has found a new tool to attack her opponent: his own words.
Republican David Perdue, who has run hard on his business experience as a Fortune 500 CEO, said in 2005 that he “spent most of [his] career” outsourcing, according to a 186-page transcript of a deposition obtained by Politico. In his nine-month tenure in 2002 and 2003 as CEO of the troubled North Carolina textile firm Pillowtex Corp., Perdue developed a plan to shift production to Asia to obtain lower costs and restore the company after bankruptcy. That plan never came to fruition and he later tried to sell the company before leaving to become CEO of Dollar General.
Nunn has already tweeted out a new graphic asking a cutout of Perdue to describe his “experience with outsourcing.”
Perdue’s campaign blasted the new report, saying his comments were cherry-picked and that Perdue’s business record needs to be understood in its full context.
“Throughout his career, David took on tough business challenges in an effort to save American companies and jobs,” said Megan Whittemore, a Perdue spokeswoman. “He also grew companies like Dollar General where he created 20,000 new jobs and opportunities for American workers.
“David has spent 40 years dealing with bad government policies that put our manufacturers at a disadvantage internationally,” Whittemore added. “He wants to use that experience in the Senate to revitalize domestic manufacturing by removing the barriers to competitiveness.”
Perdue’s tenure at Pillowtex has been slammed by Republicans and Democrats alike. In the GOP Senate primary this year, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) cut an ad claiming that he “mismanaged” the company, leading to the loss of nearly 8,000 jobs. Politifact rated that ad “mostly false,” reporting that the figure was inflated and that there were factors outside of Perdue’s control as the company emerged from bankruptcy in a turbulent industry. But the outsourcing hit could blemish the record Perdue earned at Sara Lee, Reebok and as head of Dollar General, where he says he added “billions” to the value of the company.