Dem Leading Georgia House Race Avoids Talking Trump On Special Election Day

On the morning of the special election to fill an open House seat in Georgia, President Donald Trump went all in on attacking Jon Ossoff, the Democratic candidate leading the polls. However, Ossoff himself repeatedly declined to go after Trump in a Tuesday morning interview.

During an interview on CNN’s “New Day,” co-host Alisyn Camerota noted that Trump recorded a robocall singling out Ossoff and asked him to respond.

“I appreciate the president’s interest in the race. Although, he is misinformed with respect to my priorities,” Ossoff replied.

Camerota then asked Ossoff if the race was a referendum on Trump.

“This race is about local economic issues here and values that unite people in the community in Georgia before it’s about the national political circus. Everyone’s looking for national implications, but all politics is local,” he replied, again declining to go after Trump.

The special election in Georgia and Ossoff’s dominance in the polls has been linked to Trump from the start. Democrats are hopeful they can flip the solidly Republican district given that the President only won the district by one point in November. Democrats are counting on anti-Trump fervor to drive their base to the polls.

When asked if he was motivated to run by Trump’s election, Ossoff noted that he does have “serious concerns about the direction of things in Washington.” But he quickly pivoted to his pitch on boosting the economy.

And he demurred yet again when Camerota asked if he talks about Trump on the campaign trail.

“I’ll always voice my concerns about what’s happening in Washington. That includes my concerns about the administration, whether it’s on the environment or civil liberties,” he replied, avoiding Trump’s name.

The Democratic candidate also declined to respond to Trump when asked about the President’s fiery tweets labelling Ossoff “VERY weak on crime and illegal immigration.”

“Once again I appreciate the President’s interest. It sounds like he’s misinformed about my priorities,” Ossoff said before suggesting Trump visit his campaign website.

During the interview, Camerota also pointed out that Ossoff does not currently live in the district, noting that this means he won’t be able to vote for himself. In response, Ossoff explained that he grew up in the district and is living just outside it with his girlfriend while she attends medical school at Emory University.

Watch part of the interview via CNN:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
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