L. Peterson: "Jones sounded almost as much like a Republican as the one he's seeking to replace." -- I ask. How, just because he mentioned Miller?
Vernon Jones sounded almost as much like a Republican Thursday as the one he's seeking to replace.
Then Larry notes what Vernon said in Savannah:
"I am a conservative Democrat, along the lines of Sam Nunn, Zell Miller and Richard Russell," Jones told reporters at Savannah City Hall on Thursday.
He noted the Democrats have lost most major statewide elections in Georgia in recent years.
"The problem," he said, "is that the Democratic statewide candidates have been too liberal for Georgia. They have been out of touch with the mainstream. ... They went back to the same losing playbook."
In contrast, Jones said, he can "bring back the Reagan Democrats" into his party's fold.
He said he'd do so by being "fiscally responsible" and "strong on defense," supporting faith-based initiatives and cracking down on illegal immigrants.
I don't see what Larry hears in the above that makes Vernon a moderate Democrat rather than a Republican. It can't be just the reference to Zell Miller, not when he mentions in the same breath the great Democrats Sam Nunn -- possible Obama Vice Presidential running mate and a person who in his 23 years in the Senate became known as the nation’s foremost authority on national defense -- and Richard Russell, considered by some Washington insiders to be second only to the president in power and influence.
And apparently the same message was given in Macon earlier in the day (and will be Vernon's stump speech on the campaign) according to the reporting by my friend Travis Fain of the Macon Telegraph who writes:
Jones planned to visit Columbus, Macon, Albany, Savannah and Augusta on Thursday. He spoke from the steps of City Hall in Macon, describing himself as a conservative Democrat in the mold of former U.S. Sens. Sam Nunn and Richard Russell.
Jones said Democrats have pursued a "losing strategy" in Georgia that hasn't been "in touch with mainstream Georgia." Instead, Jones is offering a platform of fiscal responsibility, support of faith-based initiatives and a move toward energy independence, he said.
And reporting on Vernon's visit to Columbus on the same day, Larry Gierer writes in the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer:
If Vernon Jones wins the Georgia Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate, how, he was asked, will he bring down the incumbent, Republican Saxby Chambliss in the Nov. 4 election?
"His record will bring him down," replied Jones, who faces former state lawmaker Jim Martin in a runoff Aug. 5.
Thursday morning in Columbus, Jones called Chambliss a "me-too" senator, going along with whatever President Bush wants.
"Chambliss supported the war and never questioned the president," Jones said. "In six years, what has he done about oil prices?"
Jones said serious immigration reform is needed and not the "amnesty" program that Bush and Chambliss supported.
"I'm the only fiscal conservative running," said Jones, comparing himself to former Georgia senators Sam Nunn and Zell Miller.
Asked about the war, Jones said that this country "must shift the responsibility of Iraq to the Iraqi people and their government." While he wants U.S. soldiers to have the proper tools and resources, he believes in diplomatic solutions to get U.S. soldiers "out of harm's way."
He said he is OK with offshore drilling but only after no oil is found on the "63 million acres," that already have been permitted for drilling.
On the issue of immigration reform, Jones has said during the campaign he believes in securing borders and enforcing the law as well as streamlining the legal citizenship process. He said Thursday he wasn't against immigrants who do things legally.
This might be a moderate message, to some even conversative. But to me it is not necessarily Republican.