Handel, Ossoff Spar over Issues in Second Debate

The candidates for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District seat, Republican Karen Handel and liberal Democrat Jon Ossoff, met in their second debate on Thursday and the debate was hosted by Public Broadcasting Atlanta (PBS) and moderated by WABE’s Denis O’Hayer.

Handel and liberal Ossoff spoke about healthcare and pre-existing conditions especially when Ossoff lied and stated that those with pre-existing would lose coverage when such a provision does not exist in the new GOP healthcare bill.

Naturally, Ossoff went after Handel with false claims about her successful past record and when Handel in 2012 resigned as vice president for policy at Komen after the foundation reversed a decision to cut ties with Planned Parenthood and her book about the episode, titled, “Planned Bullyhood,” propelled her into the national spotlight.

The issue of climate change emerged as a new issue in this second debate.


Concerning climate change, Handel stated, “Look, I think that clearly there have been changes in the climate. I am not a scientist, so I read all of that and take it all in. What I am set on is making sure we do the right thing in the right way.”

“Neither of us are scientists. That’s why we have scientists,” Ossoff, responded. “Ninety-seven percent of scientists as well as the military and the intelligence community agree that climate change is a threat to our security and prosperity and that it’s driven in part by human activity.”

Ossoff continued as he did in the first debate that he is an independent voice, side-stepping his liberal views.

With the Paris climate agreement and the Iran nuclear deal, Handel stated, “The Paris accord was a very bad deal for America and Americans and businesses were being hurt by the agreement.”

Although the subject was not brought up in the second debate, Ossoff has never been truthful about is his so-called five years security clearance claim.

He had pitched himself as having had five years of experience as a “former national security aide” and holding a “top-secret clearance.” He has cut ads that show him standing in what appears to be a national security situation room or entering a vault assessed only by a code.

“I was granted a top-secret clearance by the U.S. Department of Defense to work on particularly sensitive programs,” Ossoff told reporters on March 30. “I stand by my record – I will put up my national security qualifications and credentials against anyone else in this race.”

Even a reporter, Glenn Kessler with the mostly liberal leaning Washington Post called Ossoff out and reported, “I’ve got five years of experience as a national security staffer in the U.S. Congress. I held top secret security clearance.” — is rather typical of the way Ossoff frames his experience as an aide for Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.). As far as we can tell, there is always a period between a sentence about five years of national security experience and a sentence about having the security clearance.”

“That’s important, because campaign manager Kennan Pontoni says that Ossoff held the security clearance for only five months, at the end of his job with Johnson. Johnson, who served on the Armed Services Committee, says Ossoff, his advisor on foreign affairs and military issues, obtained the clearance because he was otherwise prevented from attending briefings with Johnson, “said Kessler. “But then Ossoff left Capitol Hill to move to London to pursue a master’s degree at the London School of Economics.”

“Ossoff certainly has milked that five-month period of holding a clearance. A casual listener might assume he had the clearance for the entire five years he was a “national security aide” — although, as we noted, he always appears careful to not connect the two in the same sentence.”

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