The Day That David Perdue Signed an Insulin Pump, and Learned a Lesson

The Georgia Republican was mocked for trying to hide from his outsourcing and signing a young woman's insulin pump.
Photograph by: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

In every campaign there are good days, bad days, and there are days that have campaign staffers pulling their hair out. David Perdue, the Republican candidate in Georgia’s Senate race, was the subject of two less than stellar media moments—one almost probably unfair, and one he entirely deserved.

First, the unfair embarrassment. On Friday, BuzzFeed published video from the liberal American Bridge of Perdue signing the torso of a young woman during a campaign rally on Thursday. Perdue's campaign released a statement saying that, actually, he was signing the woman's insulin pump, but not before the moment inspired several jokes (ex: raise the wage/raise your shirt). Megan Whittemore, a Perdue spokesperson, said in a statement that:

David was asked to sign an individual’s diabetic pump to help raise awareness for juvenile diabetes. This was a Georgia family who shared their personal story of their struggle with ObamaCare and the rising health care costs associated with their daughter’s treatment which is not being covered by their insurance.

In the American Bridge video, “Wagon Wheel” plays in the background as Perdue talks to the soon-to-be signed young woman. He leans in, pen ready and then, realizing what the scene looks like says “no pictures on this.”  The crowd laughs and one man, noticing the American Bridge tracker, holds up a David Perdue for Senate sign in front of Perdue and the young woman’s stomach/hip area. Others, likely his staffers, joined in. “Thank you so much,” the young woman says as she leaves.

The less scandalous version of the video, shot from a different angle, lends itself to the Perdue camp's version of events. The women seems to be saying “that's the thing,” referring to the pump. BuzzFeed offered an update, stating that the American Bridge video didn't seem to capture the whole scene. Here's the video Perdue's campaign released:

That would have been more than enough for a campaign, but Friday was also the day that Perdue’s outsourcing controversy was renewed by his own campaign. Earlier this month documentation of Perdue saying he was “proud” of his history of outsourcing his company’s labor resurfaced, giving his Democratic opponent Michelle Nunn a new attack.

This week Michael Warren published a story in The Weekly Standard on Georgia’s senate and gubernatorial races, and the Perdue camp was apparently so worried the outsourcing would come up that they called Warren twice to make sure he wouldn’t ask about it. Warren wrote:

Suddenly, Perdue’s biggest asset—his business career—has become a liability.

And it’s one the Perdue campaign is trying desperately to avoid. Before my brief phone interview with Perdue, a campaign staffer called twice to confirm that I wouldn’t ask about the “outsourcing” comment. When I did, Perdue dismissed it as “right out of the Democratic playbook.” 

Perdue might take some comfort in knowing that he’s not the only current, former or possibly future politician having a bad day.  Vincent Sheheen, the Democratic candidate running against South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, “accidentally” called her a whore — he seems to have misspoken.

In New York, former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner hasn’t deleted his Twitter account. For a brief moment favorited a photo of an attractive young woman wearing a dress that a middle school dress code might call a shirt. Her Twitter bio reads “filling in for your wife since 2001. Indulge your sexual fantasies by having an affair.” 

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