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Georgia U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler and three Senate colleagues visit Tubby’s for campaign stop in Thunderbolt
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Diners at Tubby's Tank House in Thunderbolt are greeted by Republican U.S. Senators Kelly Loeffler of Georgia (right) and Roy Blunt of Missouri (center) on Dec. 12. - photo by Nick Robertson
The typically laid-back patio vibe at Tubby’s Tank House turned into a buzzing political scene Saturday afternoon, when Georgia U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler made a campaign stop at the popular Thunderbolt seafood restaurant along with three fellow Republican senators. U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Roy Blunt of Missouri, and Tim Scott of South Carolina joined Loeffler on the Tubby’s deck at around 2 p.m. on Saturday in support of her candidacy against Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock, who was also campaigning in the Savannah area on Saturday. Loeffler and Warnock are vying for victory in one of Georgia’s two nationally prominent Jan. 5, 2021 Senate-runoff races that will determine the balance of power in Washington, D.C. for the next two years. During the senators’ meet-and-greet visit, Tubby’s open-air dining area was abnormally abuzz with the mingling of campaign aides, reporters, bodyguards, and restaurant patrons feasting on fried fish and hush puppies. Several diners said they had no idea that any members of Congress would be joining them for lunch, let alone four members of the upper house. All four of the GOP senators wore face masks as a COVID-19 precaution while conversing with the customers at their tables, aside from times when they removed the facial coverings to assist Tubby’s patrons in recognizing them. However, Blunt was only seen wearing his mask around his neck throughout the visit. Earlier in the day, Loeffler joined fellow Republican Georgia U.S. Senator David Perdue − who is defending his seat against Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff in the state’s other Jan. 5 senate-runoff race – at a private fundraising event at Chatham County’s Forest City Gun Club, according to a Loeffler campaign aide. After affably greeting supporters and random Tubby’s diners alike, Loeffler spoke with the press, echoing her campaign ads portraying Warnock as an extremist. “The future of our country is at stake here. Really, the American dream is on the ballot. We can go down the path of socialism, my opponent is supporting Marxism and socialism. I’m fighting for the American dream,” Loeffler said, before characterizing some COVID-19 closures as oppressive. “Our freedoms are under attack. We need to be able to have kids back in school and let folks get back to church.” In response to a reporter’s question directed to each senator asking how they can improve the divisive situation in Washington, D.C. and foster a more collaborative and positive system of governance, Loeffler said that “holding the Senate majority for Republicans is the number-one thing we can do to make sure that we have that check and balance on what Nancy Pelosi has done,” referring to the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives. Blackburn also said that keeping the Senate in Republican hands was crucial for maintaining “checks and balances” in the government, adding that she’s open to discourse with people of differing opinions. “I’m always willing to have a great conversation with anybody that wants to make the lives of Tennesseeans better,” Blackburn said. Scott replied that achievements can be realized by Republicans and Democrats working together. “If you look at the legislative accomplishments of the last few years, it’s been done in a bipartisan fashion,” Scott said. “We’ve had champions on the right that have been willing to work with anyone from anywhere at any time as it relates to moving the country forward.” Finally, Blunt said that the Democrats’ mixed results in the Nov. 3 general election show that American voters are not supportive of one-party rule. “I think if Democrats control the Senate and the House, you’re going to see legislation driven by an extreme left side of their party that is not the right legislation for the country,” Blunt said.