U.S. Rep. Doug Collins had three main requests of the Gwinnett County Republican Party as he attended its monthly breakfast at Gwinnett Place Mall on Saturday.
All three related to support for the Republican ticket in November.
“While we’re sitting here, they’re out knocking on doors — the Democrats are knocking on doors right now, they’re making phone calls,” Collins said. “So here’s what we’ve got to have happen. The things we need to do (are): No. 1, re-elect Donald Trump for four more years; No. 2, re-elect David Perdue and keep the Senate red; and No. 3, I’m asking for your vote. I’m here talking to you today. I need your help. I need you to make phone calls. I need you to pickup a sign, one for yourself, three for your friends, and put those out.”
This year is unique for Georgia in that both of its Republican-held U.S. Senate seats are on the ballot. It is a normal election cycle for the seat held by Sen. David Perdue, but there is also a special election for the seat held by Sen. Kelly Loeffler. Loeffler was appointed to fill the seat previously held by Sen. Johnny Isakson, at least until the special election is held in November.
Collins is one of several candidates challenging Loeffler for her seat in the special election.
And, of course, the ticket is topped by the presidential election where President Donald Trump’s re-election bid is being challenged by Democratic nominee, former Vice-President Joe Biden.
“We’ve got to get out and do something,” Collins said. “I do not want to see Republicans on Nov. 4 say I wish I had. There’s not another Republican who, on Nov. 4, wants to say I wish I had put out one more sign, I wish I made one more phone call, I wish I gave five more dollars, I wish I had done something.”
Collins told the Daily Post that getting support for Republican candidates in Gwinnett will entail approaching the diversity of the community.
He also said the party may have let up some on engagement in the past, and that it needs to engage communities more.
“I think Gwinnett County, for me, it’s the diversity of the population, which is changing, and it even changes from the southern end of the county to the northern end of the county and especially over to the eastern side,” Collins said. “It’s just a matter of getting out and having a message that resonates with each community and realizing that you don’t leave any community out.”
During his remarks to the Gwinnett GOP as well as a question-and-answer session with its members at the breakfast, Collins touched on several topics, including children returning to school, former President Barack Obama’s call to end the fillibuster in the Senate, whether people should be allowed to try hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 and social media platforms suspending the accounts of people who make remarks that administrators of those platforms deem to be hate speech.
Perhaps one of the most topical issues was children returning to school amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He at least somewhat tied to it farmers providing food for schools in Georgia and having a market to support those farmers.
“We know that our agricultural economy now in south Georgia needs to have markets, it needs to have trade,” Collins said. “It needs our school lunch program so that we can now tie our urban Gwinnett County to our farms, and people can understand where our food comes from ... and get people to understand how we can have good home-grown Georgia products on our tables for school lunches, which by the way, I’m ready for schools to open back up.”
On the issue of hydroxychloroquine, which has been a topic of debate during the pandemic, Collins challenged Dr. Anthony Fauci’s testimony last week that a clinical trial on using the drug to treat COVID-19 was flawed. The congressman advocated for giving people who have COVID-19 the opportunity to try it if they want to.
“Dr. Fauci testified about this and I disagree with him completely on this,” Collins said.
As for how Congress should tackle ongoing efforts at an economic recovery from the pandemic, Collins said after the breakfast that the nation’s leaders need to look at spending priorities.
“We need to approach the next stimulus bill is taking a look at what we need to be spending money on,” Collins said. “That will be education, universities (and) getting our kids back to school, which has an economic impact, because it’s harder for parents to go back to work when your kids aren’t in school.
“The other aspect is also continuing to help with the response of our hospitals and vaccine response.We’ve also got to continue helping industries that have been inadvertently affected, such as your hospitality, your hoteliers, those probably need a little bit more relief from regulation so that they can get back quicker.”