Former President George H.W. Bush endorsed Republican David Perdue in Georgia's U.S. Senate race Monday, despite his long-standing ties to Perdue's Democratic opponent, Michelle Nunn.
Bush said in a statement that he is endorsing the businessman because he is "genuinely worried about the direction in which our beloved country is heading."
"David Perdue's success in the private sector -- meeting a payroll and dealing with regulations -- gives him the kind of real-world experience that Washington, DC is sorely lacking today," he said.
Bush spokesman and speechwriter Jim McGrath tweeted a picture of Bush with Perdue and former First Lady Barbara Bush:
— Jim McGrath (@jgm41) September 15, 2014
On one hand, Bush's endorsement of Perdue isn't much of a surprise since they're both members of the Republican Party. In June, he also sent out a fundraising letter on behalf of national Republicans in support of Perdue.
In a statement, Nunn said she still has "enormous respect" for the former president:
I have enormous respect for President Bush and am honored to have led his Points of Light Foundation for seven years. Our work together is a model Washington can learn from -- showing what happens when leaders put partisan differences aside to focus on common ground and helping people. I am proud that I worked with Neil Bush and President Bush to get important work done, even though we are clearly from different parties. That is what we need more of in Washington- not people who work together when they share the same party, but people who work together despite party differences. That experience -- running President Bush's organization that helps millions of people improve their lives and their communities -- is a central part of who I am and the kind of Senator I will be.
Perdue's campaign released an ad in September claiming that Points of Light had indirect ties to a terrorist organization based off a memo included in a prior campaign plan, though FactCheck.org took issue with that assertion.
HuffPost Pollster, which combines publicly available polling data, has Perdue leading Nunn in the November general election: