Former Democratic Senator and Georgia Governor Zell Miller has endorsed Republican incumbent Sen. Saxby Chambliss in the upcoming runoff election in Georgia against Democratic challenger Jim Martin.
The Republican National Senatorial Committee is running a Web-only ad featuring a speech that Miller delivered at a Chambliss rally on Thursday.
Neither Chambliss nor Martin garnered 50 percent of the vote on Election Day, necessitating a runoff on Dec. 2.
Mindful that Democrats could have 59 Senate seats by that time, one short of a filibuster-proof majority, Miller told the gathering that Saxby “could well be the last man standing [against] a far-left liberal agenda sailing through the U.S. Senate, an agenda that Jim Martin just can’t wait to help move on.”
Miller said when he was governor, “I proposed a $100 million tax cut for Georgia. Guess who [was] the very first state legislator [who] popped up and said, this is wrong, we’ve got too many unmet needs to do it? You guessed it. His name was Jim Martin.
“Unmet needs. I think the greatest unmet need is getting that money back to the taxpayers.
“I have served with both these men in this race. And there is no question in my mind or in my heart which one is the best prepared to serve our country and serve our state. And that is our senior Senator, Saxby Chambliss.”
Miller served as Georgia governor from 1991 to 1999, and delivered the keynote speech at the 1992 Democratic convention. But in the years since he has been drifting to the right.
He was appointed to the U.S. Senate from Georgia after the death of Paul Coverdell in July 2000, and retained his seat in a special election the following November.
In 2004, Miller delivered the keynote speech at the GOP convention, and he backed President George W. Bush over John Kerry in the general election.
Miller did not run for re-election and left the Senate in 2005.
In the RNSC ad, he alludes to President-elect Barack Obama’s likely economic policies and declares: “I don’t like this spread the wealth. To steal from Peter to pay Paul even if it gets Paul to vote for you, is wrong, wrong, wrong.”
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