Georgia Runoff Challenger Jon Ossoff Presses David Perdue on Debate Dodging: 'What Are You Scared of Senator?'

Democratic Senate hopeful Jon Ossoff has pressed his rival Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) on ducking debates against him, asking the incumbent: "What are you scared of Senator?"

The pair are facing off in one of Georgia's Senate runoffs, the outcomes of which are set to determine control of the Senate.

Perdue has previously turned down head-to-heads with Ossoff, with his campaign manager Ben Fry suggesting he will not debate his challenger again.

Sharing an Associated Press report containing quotes from Fry, Ossoff said: "Wow. David Perdue is now refusing to accept the Savannah and Augusta debates.

"What are you scared of Senator?"

Wow. David Perdue is now refusing to accept the Savannah and Augusta debates.

What are you scared of Senator?

— Jon Ossoff (@ossoff) November 16, 2020

Ossoff has previously said Perdue should not run if he does not want to participate in these clashes.

"If David Perdue doesn't want to answer questions in public about his record and debate his opponent, that's fine—he just shouldn't run for re-election to the U.S. Senate," he said, responding to Perdue turning down an invitation to an Atlanta Press Club debate.

I guess David Perdue doesn’t like being held accountable.

— Jon Ossoff (@ossoff) November 16, 2020

Ossoff has also previously called Perdue "too much of a coward" to debate him.

Perdue's decision to stop debating Ossoff came after an attack from the Democrat in a previous debate went viral.

A statement shared to Newsweek by Perdue's campaign referred to the pair having debated previously, while suggesting the Republican would have won re-election already in other states.

It said: "The runoff in Georgia is an extension of the November 3 general election, where 52 percent of Georgians voted against Jon Ossoff and his radical agenda.

"Perdue had a commanding first-place win, outpacing Ossoff by over 85,000 votes—in nearly every other state, Perdue would have been re-elected already."

It went on to criticize Ossoff's comments in previous debates, suggesting that if he wants to "keep lying to Georgians on TV" he should do this through ads.

"We've already had two debates in this election. In each, Ossoff lied repeatedly and, of course, the media failed to hold him accountable. He refused to talk about the issues and could not defend his radical socialist agenda," the statement continued.

"If Ossoff wants to keep lying to Georgians on TV, he will have to use his out-of-state money to pay for it. We're going to take our message about what's at stake if Democrats have total control of Congress directly to the people."

When asked about Ossoff's latest comments, Perdue's campaign told Newsweek this statement still stands.

Newsweek has contacted Ossoff's campaign for further comment.

Early in-person voting for the runoff contests is due to begin on December 14, while voting day is January 5, 2021. In the other Georgia runoff, Senator Kelly Loeffler is being challenged by Democrat Raphael Warnock. Polling has been tight between the candidates.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jon Ossoff at a campaign event on October 3, 2020, in Lithonia, Georgia. He has questioned Republican Senator David Perdue's decision to turn down debates. Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images