On this edition of Political Rewind, with the first Democratic presidential debates soon to get under way, controversies so far have plagued a small number of the crowded field of candidates. How will candidates set themselves apart and distance themselves from unfavorable headlines in hopes of coming out of the first debate unscathed?
Mayor Pete Buttegieg is facing withering criticism in South Bend after a 46-year-old black man was killed in an officer involved shooting. Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden is still under scrutiny for comments on his ability to forge cordial relationships with segregationists in the U.S. Senate. How big of a role will race relations play on the debate stage and in the minds of Georgia voters? Our guest Jeremiah Olney, a democratic strategist, is critical of Buttegieg. In Olney's opinion, "He's had time to address these problems. This is not the first time he's heard about these things, so if he plans to run for president I think he should really be more cognizant of the fact that these things are on the back burner. He needs to think very long and hard about showing compassion." On the topic of Biden, guest Patricia Murphy said, "No one thinks Joe Biden is a racist but is he the right candidate today for the party?"
Also discussed, state Democrats are mobilizing to win legislative seats now held by Republicans who voted for the bill that all but outlaws abortion in Georgia. On the other side of the aisle, an anti-abortion group is aggressively campaigning to take the seat of the Democratic house leader after he voted against the measure.
Plus, on Capitol Hill, Georgia’s Congressional Delegation fought ferociously to win federal funds for the project to expand the Savannah Harbor. But now there is concern that President Donald Trump’s latest proposed tariffs on China could add millions to the cost of the harbor project.
Kyle Hayes -- Co-host and Founder of PeachPod: A Georgia Politics Podcast
Patricia Murphy -- Political Columnist
Martha Zoller -- Republican Strategist
Jeremiah Olney -- Democratic strategist