Former President Barack Obama (D) is seizing on allegations of insider trading that have been leveled against two incumbent Republican senators in a traditionally red state.
Perdue and Loeffler are both running to keep their seats in what is shaping up to be a tough year for Republican incumbents.
Now, Obama is campaigning in Georgia in a bid to flip two seats in a state that has not elected a Democratic senator in 20 years. Speaking at a rally in Atlanta, on Monday, Obama said, “They downplayed the pandemic in public, and in private they’re trying to see if they can profit from it — both of them. Not just one of them … both of them.”
“They’re like Batman and Robin gone bad,” he continued. “It’s like the dynamic duo of doing wrong.”
Watch the video below:
Campaigning in Georgia, Obama hits Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue over stock trades in the early days of the pandemic:— The Recount (@therecount) November 2, 2020
"They're like Batman and Robin gone bad … the dynamic duo of doing wrong." pic.twitter.com/SKJ5FMqE64
Earlier this year, the Justice Department opened an insider trader investigation into Loeffler, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), and James Inhofe (R-Okla.)
However, in May, the department ended its investigation into the senators — except Burr — without charges.
That investigation was opened after it was reported that the lawmakers sold hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock after they attended a closed-door briefing on the threat of the pandemic.
Loeffler, Feinstein, and Inhofe said their stock transactions were made by advisers, and they were informed of sales after the case.
Perdue also made multimillion-dollar stock trades; however, he said those transactions were done by financial advisers. He also provided a portion of a letter from the Senate Ethics Committee that cleared him of wrongdoing to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
His campaign says the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission also ended investigations into the trades.
Polls currently show Perdue and Loeffler trailing their challengers. However, if neither candidate cracks 50% on Nov. 3, the race will go to a runoff in early-January.
Republicans are defending 23-seats this cycle and Democrats are increasingly bullish about their chances of winning control of the Senate.
Democrats need to pick up three or four seats, depending on who wins the White House, to flip the Senate and the two seats in Georgia could determine the balance of power in the upper chamber.
The nonpartisan Cook Political Report currently rates six Republican-held seats as “toss-up” races — including the two races in Georgia — and two as “Lean Democrat.”