More than 100 pastors call on Loeffler to stop spreading ‘reprehensible falsehoods’ about Warnock, denouncing them as ‘an attack against the Black Church’

kelly raphael georgia senate runoffs debate
GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock appear during a debate on December 6, 2020, in Atlanta.

  • A group of over 100 pastors criticized the campaign strategy of GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, calling her out for political attacks against Democrat Raphael Warnock which they feel have devolved into “a broader attack against the Black Church.”
  • “We call on you to cease and desist your false characterizations of Reverend Warnock as ‘radical’ or ‘socialist,’ when there is nothing in his background, writings or sermons that suggests those characterizations to be true, especially when taken in full context,” they wrote in an open letter, which was released on Saturday.
  • In a year where racial and social justice have been at the forefront of the national debate, especially among many Black parishioners, the pastors slammed Loeffler for criticizing Warnock as he addressed those very same issues.
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A group of over 100 pastors blasted the campaign strategy of GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, calling her out on Saturday for political attacks against her Democratic opponent, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, which they feel have devolved into “a broader attack against the Black Church.”

In an open letter, signed mostly by Black clergy leaders local to Georgia while some live out of state, the group criticized the Loeffler campaign’s fervent depiction of Warnock, the senior pastor of Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, as a “radical” and “a socialist.”

The New York Times first reported the release of the letter.

“We call on you to cease and desist your false characterizations of Reverend Warnock as ‘radical’ or ‘socialist,’ when there is nothing in his background, writings or sermons that suggests those characterizations to be true, especially when taken in full context,” they wrote.

In a year where racial and social justice have been at the forefront of the national debate, especially after the May 25 death of George Floyd while he was in police custody in Minneapolis, the pastors slammed Loeffler for criticizing Warnock as he addressed those very same issues.

“Your most recent attacks against Warnock for sermons condemning police brutality, advocating criminal justice reform, and expressing support for measures to reduce gun-violence – all concerns of his congregation – are beyond the pale and cannot go unaddressed by members of the faith community,” they wrote. “The reprehensible falsehoods must stop!”

The pastors accused Loeffler of failing to address issues of racial justice, which are highly resonant among Black voters, saying that she showed “disdain for Black elected officials and Black Lives Matter marches against systemic racism.”

Read more: EXCLUSIVE: Jared Kushner helped create a Trump campaign shell company that secretly paid the president’s family members and spent $617 million in reelection cash, a source tells Insider

The pastors also called out Loeffler for decrying religious-based attacks against Amy Coney Barrett during the conservative jurist’s Supreme Court nomination process while employing what they feel are religious-based attacks against Warnock.

“We witnessed how Conservatives uproariously cried foul when anyone asked how Amy Coney Barrett’s faith might affect her rulings as she was under consideration for the high court,” they wrote. “We remember your tweet characterizing those perceived attacks against Barrett as ‘disgusting’ but now you characterize Warnock’s religious convictions as ‘despicable, disgusting, and wrong.’ You continue to parse and take out of context decades old utterances by Warnock from the pulpit.”

On Sunday, Warnock responded to content of the letter on Twitter.

“My faith is the foundation upon which I have built my life,” he wrote. “It guides my service to my community and my country. [Loeffler’s] attacks on our faith are not just disappointing – they are hurtful to Black churches across Georgia.”

On Sunday, Loeffler responded to Warnock on Twitter, writing that “no one attacked the Black church.”

“We simply exposed your record in your own words,” she added. “Instead of playing the victim, start answering simple questions about what you’ve said and who you’ve associated yourself with. If you can’t – you shouldn’t be running for U.S. Senate.”

 

In the letter, the pastors also pivoted to Black voting rights, saying that Loeffler’s endorsement of President Donald Trump’s continued legal action against the 2020 election results is an affront to Black voters.

“We witnessed your naked hypocrisy as you supported 59 attempts at the delegitimization of Black votes with meaningless lawsuits by the Trump campaign operatives,” they wrote. “What can be more radical, more seditious than supporting 59 attempts to overthrow the will of the people by tossing Black votes?”

Loeffler and Warnock are locked in a tight January 2021 runoff election in Georgia, which will determine control of the Senate and take place just weeks before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

A separate runoff election, also set for January 5, will feature a contest between GOP Sen. David Perdue, who is running for reelection to a second term, and his Democratic opponent, Jon Ossoff.

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Jon Ossoff debated an empty podium and called Sen. David Perdue a ‘coward’ for skipping the debate one month ahead of the Senate runoff election

ossoff debate georgia runoff
Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff speaks during a debate for U.S. Senate on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in Atlanta. Sen. David Perdue declined to attend the debate.

  • Democrat Jon Ossoff debated an empty podium Sunday night in Atlanta, Georgia after his opponent, Republican Sen. David Perdue, declined to participate in the event.
  • Ossoff is challenging Perdue in the Georgia Senate runoff election on January 5, which will determine which party takes control of the US Senate.
  • After sharing what he would’ve asked Perdue had he appeared at the debate, Ossoff said, “If the senator were not too much of a coward to debate in public, then that’s what I’d ask him,” he said.
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Democrat Jon Ossoff debated an empty podium Sunday night in Atlanta, Georgia after his opponent, Republican Sen. David Perdue, declined to participate in the event.

Ossoff is challenging Perdue in the Georgia Senate runoff election on January 5, which will help determine which party takes control of the US Senate.

A debate moderator asked Ossoff what he would’ve asked Perdue had the senator agreed to appear at the debate.

“I think what I would ask him is why he continues to oppose $1200 stimulus checks for the American people at this moment of crisis,” Ossoff said. “Why he fought against them in the first place, and why he isn’t in Washington right now championing direct financial relief.”

“If the senator were not too much of a coward to debate in public, then that’s what I’d ask him,” he said.

Ossoff also said his opponent may be concerned about incriminating himself over personal financial investments that have come under scrutiny. The senator has denied any wrongdoing. 

When Perdue declined to participate in the debate, his campaign manager, Ben Fry, told The Associated Press, “We’ve already had two debates in this election.”

“We’re going to take our message about what’s at stake if Democrats have total control of Congress directly to the people,” he said.

Perdue appeared at a campaign event Saturday night alongside President Donald Trump, who spent much of the time contesting his own election results, and GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who is also running in the runoff election.

Unlike Perdue, Loeffler did participate in a debate with her challenger, Democrat Raphael Warnock, on Sunday. She again declined to acknowledge that Trump lost the election to President-elect Joe Biden.

Democrats need to win both runoff races to take control of the Senate, something experts says Biden may need in order to accomplish much of his policy agenda at the outset of his term.

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Reporters at Trump’s Georgia rally had to enter ‘RiggedElection!’ as the WiFi password to a network titled ‘Make America Great Again’

Donald Trump Georgia Runoffs Rally
Donald Trump attends a rally in support of Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in Valdosta, Georgia on December 5, 2020.

  • Media at Trump’s Georgia rally entered ‘RiggedElection!’ as the WiFi password for the ‘Make America Great Again’ network.
  • Fox News journalists were abused as “traitors” by the Trump supporters lining up for the rally in Valdosta, Georgia. 
  • The President held his first rally Since the election yesterday, to support the state’s Republican senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who are facing January 5 runoffs.
  • If Loeffler and Perdue lose to Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff then the Senate will be split 50-50 and Democratic Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will cast the deciding vote.
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Reporters at Donald Trump’s Georgia rally had to enter ‘RiggedElection!’ as the WiFi password for the ‘Make America Great Again’ network.

The President held his first rally since the election in Valdosta, Georgia, yesterday to support the state’s Republican senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who are facing January 5 runoffs.

Jenna Ellis, a senior legal adviser for the Trump campaign, tweeted: “Well done to @TeamTrump‘s @schatzjoe for an excellent Press WiFi password tonight at the @realDonaldTrump Georgia rally!

“Fake News media has to type this in if they want WiFi.”

Journalists from Fox News were also targeted outside the rally, with the Trump supporters rebuking correspondent Griff Jenkins. 

They were angry after the channel surprised many by declaring Joe Biden the election winner in most other mainstream media outlets.

Sky News producer Sarah Gough posted the video from behind the police tape line on Twitter and said: Fox News journalists are getting the most abuse from the crowd lining up for Trump’s rally in Valdosta, Georgia. Cries of “we trusted you” and “traitors.”” 

Jennifer Jacobs, a Bloomberg reporter, also tweeted: “Man in crowd at Trump “victory rally” in Georgia next to press pen (guy in hat) was shouting at the top of his lungs about how the press lie. “The truth is all we want!” he shouted. Security came and escorted him out of the rally, as others in crowd is yelled “leave him alone!”

If Loeffler and Perdue lose to Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff then the Senate will be split 50-50 and Democratic Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will cast the deciding vote.

During the rally, Trump said: “The voters of Georgia will determine which party runs every committee, writes every piece of legislation, controls every single taxpayer dollar..

“Very simply, you will decide whether your children will grow up in a socialist country or whether they will grow up in a free country.”

He also baselessly maintained that he had won the state and told the crowd: “You know we won Georgia, just so you understand.”

It was also here where he said: “If I lost, I’d be a very gracious loser.”

However, Georgia voted Democrat for the first time in 18 years during last month’s presidential election, while President-elect Joe Biden has won enough electoral college votes to confirm a win. 

The President’s visit to Georgia follows his call to Republican Governor Brian Kemp earlier that day, asking him to help overturn Biden’s win.

Trump has repeatedly refused to concede and launched a flurry of legal challenges, the vast majority of which he has already lost.

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‘If I lost, I’d be a very gracious loser,’ Trump said during a rally where he falsely claimed he won an election that he lost

trump rally georgia
President Donald Trump attends a rally in support of Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) and Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) on December 05, 2020 in Valdosta, Georgia.

  • During a rally in Georgia on Saturday where President Donald Trump claimed he won an election that he lost, he said, “If I lost, I’d be a very gracious loser.”
  • The president was campaigning on behalf of Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who are facing Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in the runoff election next month.
  • Enough states have certified their election results to give President-elect Joe Biden the 270 electoral college votes needed to win the White House.
  • Trump has refused to concede the election, instead mounting legal challenges and spreading unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

During a rally in Georgia on Saturday where President Donald Trump claimed he won an election that he lost, he said, “If I lost, I’d be a very gracious loser.”

The president was campaigning on behalf of Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who are facing Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in the runoff election next month.

Trump began his remarks by falsely claiming he won Georgia in the presidential race, but the state has already certified its election results, declaring President-elect Joe Biden the winner.

He also repeated many of his unsubstantiated claims about widespread voter fraud, falsely claiming that he won the presidential election.

“If I lost, I would say I lost, and I’d go to Florida and I’d take it easy,” Trump said.

 

“But you can’t ever accept when they steal and rake and rob,” he said, referring to his unproven fraud claims.

Trump has refused to concede the election, even after enough states have certified their results to give Biden the 270 electoral college votes he needs to win the White House.

Trump and his allies have continued to contest the results, filing a flurry of lawsuits in swing states. They have lost the vast majority of their legal challenges, with some still pending.

“You know I thought we were going to easily win,” Trump said. “Instead I probably worked harder in the last three weeks than I ever have in my life.”

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