Nathan Deal: ‘I understand Georgia’s pain’

The Insider offers you a quick-and-dirty transcript of the conference call that Republican nominee for governor Nathan Deal held with supporters this morning, to calm angst over articles dealing with his financial situation.

GOP nominee for governor Nathan Deal addresses reporters Wednesday. Aaron Gould Sheinin, asheinin@ajc.com

GOP nominee for governor Nathan Deal addresses reporters Wednesday. Aaron Gould Sheinin, asheinin@ajc.com

The message Deal was trying to send:

– The loans he co-signed on an outdoor store were made to support his daughter and her husband, which any voter should understand;

– He is not insolvent;

– Intimations that his debt, $2 million of which will come due in February, have any bearing on his ability to govern are out of line and of a political nature;

– If anything, his financial troubles mean that he understands the pain of the average Georgian;

Overall, the remarks are similar to what the Republican nominee told reporters on Wednesday. I’ve placed in bold the two paragraphs that are likely to quickly show up in news reports. Otherwise, Deal’s remarks below are untouched:

”Good morning. This is Nathan Deal.

“I want to thank all of you for being on the call this morning. I wanted to talk to you about something that has developed within the last week with regard to financial obligations that my wife and I have.

“It’s the kind of issue that sometimes, of course, surfaces in the midst of a political campaign. I believe that one of the responsibilities of parents is to help their children. And several years ago, our middle daughter and her husband, who – they’d both been traveling all across the country on their jobs – wanted to be closer to home, since they had the youngest of our grandchildren.

“My wife and I decided that we would help them in that venture. They were opening an outdoor store in Habersham County. Everything was going very well – as it was going with a lot of things in our economy at that time.

“But suddenly, of course, the economy turned. And that downturn is the worst we’ve seen in more than a generation. It obviously has taken down some of the largest banks. It has taken down some of the largest businesses, some of the largest insurance companies all across our country — and certainly hundreds of thousands of small business people across the country as well as right here in our state.

“Unfortunately, my children were caught in that same process. They’re store had to be closed. My wife and I had agreed to guarantee the loans for that undertaking. We’ve always believed that a responsibility of a parent is to help their children, and we certainly intended to do that.

“The obligations are certainly outstanding, and we are in the process of addressing those obligations. The press would have you believe we are insolvent, and that is far from the truth. We have assets that are going to be liquidated, including the place where the business was in operation, as well as other assets that we are willing to sacrifice in order to live up to our obligations.

“We believe that’s the responsible thing to do. Now, of course, on top of all of this is the implication that this in some way should have something to do with the governor’s race. I, quite frankly, don’t think that it has. I believe, if anything, this is an illustration of the fact that you need a governor who understands the pain that Georgians are facing.

“And certainly, many, many Georgians are facing the same kind of problems that my family has incurred in this business venture. Now, I’ve made investments over the years. Some have been good, some have been bad. This was an investment that was made on behalf of a child, and I think when you try to help your children, that’s probably always the right thing to do.

“Now, we’re going to live up to our obligations. It has nothing to do, in my opinion, with this campaign. The press would perhaps have you believe that this is an indication that I cannot govern this state. I tell you that it has nothing to do with that.

“In fact, I believe the fact that I understand the pain of Georgians is all the more important as I enter the governor’s office.

“Now, yesterday, I believe there was another article about another business venture that I’m involved in – a small business that is a very successful business. Something that my partner and I started from scratch.

“Like any small business, if you are a stockholder, you are sometimes asked to be guarantors on a loan for the corporation. That’s exactly what those loans are. The assets of the corporation and the assets that we own as individuals for the business far exceed any of those obligations.

“The loans are performing loans, and it is a profitable business. There again, this is simply an effort to divert attention away from the campaign for governor. And I want to tell you that I appreciate the fact that many of you have been reaching out to me and my wife, and to our family.

“We thank you for your prayers and your words of encouragement and support. And I want you to know that from the beginning of this campaign, that I’ve been attacked. And I think the reason is that the other party understood that I was the strongest candidate, the one most likely to win the governorship of this state.

“And, of course, the polls still continue to indicate that, and have consistently indicated it throughout the entire campaign. We intend to go forward with strength. We intend to provide the kind of leadership that Georgians will expect from a governor. We will do it on our personal level, and we expect to do it at the state level as well.

“These are still difficult times for many Georgians. And I’ll be a governor who has a perfectly reliable understanding of those challenges that Georgians continue to face. And I’ll be a governor who will work very hard to help make their lives better.

“Theses are the kinds of things, unfortunately, that are the dark side of politics. I think it is extremely regrettable when anyone tries to bring a candidate’s family into a political campaign.

“My children have suffered and will continue to suffer the consequences of an effort where they put all of their strengths, all of their time, all of their energies into trying to be a successful small business. That’s what Georgia ought to encourage.

“That’s what has made our state and our country strong – people who are willing to invest their lives, invest their own fortunes, and invest their futures. I am proud that my children were willing to take this venture. My wife and I still stand behind them. We’ll live up to our obligations, and we will move forward.

“I thank you for all that you’ve done. I ask you to continue to work very, very hard. November 2 is coming quickly. This is the kind of campaign where people need to understand that our state has great strengths. Just as families and individuals have suffered the consequences of a downturned economy, so has our state.

“The lessons that all of us learn from that are the kind of lessons that will not only make families and individuals, but will make our state stronger. That’s the kind of leadership I’ll provide. Thank you once again for all of your support, thank you for your prayers. Let’s get out and work extremely hard. That’s what my wife and my family and all of us are going to do…..”

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

303 comments Add your comment

Matt D.

September 17th, 2010
10:48 am

I voted for Karen Handel in the Republican primary. After she lost that race, I have attempted to support the nominee Nathan Deal. I can no longer support him and certainly will not vote for him. I will NOT vote for a democrat. I will vote for the Libertarian candidate for governor and will vote against every democrat on the remainder of my ballot.

Nathan Deal should have bowed out of this campaign when the results of the ethics investigation proved damaging to him. He chose not to do so and has left the Republican Party in Georgia in disarray. Nathan Deal is responsible for his actions and those actions have consequences.

No Deal

September 17th, 2010
10:50 am

Thank you Mr. Deal. I have been voting for Democrats and, so far, have been satisfied with their efforts. I wasn’t going to bother to vote in this red state, but now I feel compelled to vote against you. I think there are many other voters who feel the same way. There is no way I can sit by and let a bankrupt (financially and morally) individual like you lead this state. If you were a Democrat and this were a blue state, I would not vote for you

Omar the Begger

September 17th, 2010
10:58 am

Ok people, if you believe this guy I have, Oh! never mind some of you people will believe anything.

Average Georgian

September 17th, 2010
10:59 am

I’m an average Georgian and I cannot fathom being $2 million in debt. If I were, I cannot fathom “forgetting” this debt so as not to place it on disclosure forms. It would weigh on my average Georgian mind like battleship chains with a 2-ton anchor. I wouldn’t be able to think about anything else!

People go on and on about Roy Barnes being a trial lawyer. So is Nathan Deal. Our next Governor is going to be a trial lawyer. Now: do you want a successful on, or one who is flat-out broke and who appears one step ahead of his troubles.

[...] Insider’s Jim Galloway has just posted a  quick-and-dirty transcript of the conference call Nathan Deal just held with supporters ” to calm angst” over recent news reports dealing [...]

TRUTH

September 17th, 2010
11:00 am

Nathan Deal, the real steal.

No Deal

September 17th, 2010
11:03 am

This doesn’t say a whole heck of a lot for Newt and the others who endorsed this clown.

Tea Partier

September 17th, 2010
11:05 am

Vote Libertarian!

No Deal

September 17th, 2010
11:05 am

Typical Republican. “I am aware that I played a big part in creating this financial problem, but if you’ll just give me another chance, I promise to fix it…or at least get in the way of others who want to fix it.”

td

September 17th, 2010
11:05 am

A vote for the libertarian candidate just means a runoff and there is no way I will vote for someone that sued his own state to let illegals vote or will get in lock step with Obama, so I will hold my nose and vote for Deal. Worse case is that Deal has to step down and Cagel becomes Governor. Well maybe that is the best case.

Just Nasty & Mean

September 17th, 2010
11:06 am

Where was the establishment Republican Party leadership when it came time to vet candidates to ensure they were electable? Sue Everhart? Where were you? Why didn’t you do your JOB????

I believe Deal is a good man, and would be an experienced chief executive. But this baggage he carries into the campaign, against a refurbished, rehashed John Edwards/John Kerry/Obama/big government/tax and spend/loser democRat retread SHOULD have been a cakewalk.

GaBlue

September 17th, 2010
11:09 am

He insults our intelligence AGAIN by claiming to understand our pain? Raise your hand if you think the average Georgian can get a loan for $2 mil. Raise your hand if you think he *really* plans to pay off $4 mil in debt with a $135K/yr job.

Clearly this man has ‘nads for brains if he thinks we have *bleep* for brains. We’d have to, to believe this garbage.

Samuel J.

September 17th, 2010
11:09 am

Let’s see… we have Nathan Deal, a true Conservate, Roy Barnes a Liberal Democrat, and Monds, a new Libertarian candidate. Let’s just hope that all of these attacks on Nathan Deal do not split the Conservative vote and put Barnes back in office for another four years.

gm

September 17th, 2010
11:10 am

If you conservatives believe this, you will surpass Ala, Miss, as the dumbest bunch of hicks in the south.

This man is blaming the media, Obama for his bad judgement, voting for this man will show what a bunch of hicks this state has.

Jon

September 17th, 2010
11:11 am

I’m all for supporting family. I’m also for laughing in their face when they ask me to risk my financial stability on a multi-million dollar loan. So I don’t understand your thinking, Mr. Deal. Sorry.

And can we please stop with this “common man” nonsense. Your crushing debt is not a positive quality.

Mad Dog

September 17th, 2010
11:12 am

Mr Deal, if this family investment was something to be so proud of, why did you hide your finances for so long? Why not fully disclose your tax returns? Why did you omit this from your filing with the State Ethics Commission? Why did you omit financial matters from your reports to the Congressional Ethics Committee?
Nathan deal is a liar. His campaign is a calculated gamble to obtain public office to keep his creditors at bay. He hides things until investigative reports uncover the the truth, then gives dishonest explanations that do not wash.

On the road to Damascus

September 17th, 2010
11:15 am

Yes, Nathan, and I believe in the tooth fairy.

Raquel Morris

September 17th, 2010
11:17 am

This explains why Nathan Deal was in line in East Point for the Section 8 housing vouchers.

td

September 17th, 2010
11:18 am

Is Deal the only person to ever to have financial problems? No. I believe he will liquidate, pay off some of the debt and then refinance the rest of the debt. Rich people do this all the time (Donald Trump for example). This is really not that big a deal when you compare it to what kind of mess Georgia is going to be in due to Obama care (cost the state will pay for increased medicaid rolls), cap and trade, increased federal taxes, ect… Now do you want a elect a Governor that is going to stand up and fight for us or a Governor that will go along with all of Obama’s plans? Do you want a Governor that will help reapportion more Dems out of congress or one that is going to put more in to back Obama? The choice is clear. We have already learned that elections have consequences and we will be paying for years the consequences of our last Presidential election. Do we do our part to help roll back the damage or do we help with Obama continue with his radical agenda?

No Deal

September 17th, 2010
11:22 am

So, Nathan Deal gave money to his daughter. Apparently, she was entitled to this money because she was family, thus, he was responsible for her. Sounds like a Socialist to me.

Sick&Tired

September 17th, 2010
11:23 am

Nathan Deal is completely delusional if he thinks his “family and small business” finances have nothing to do with his campaign or his ability to run the state of Georgia. These issues are a direct reflection on his ability to lead or operate the state of Georgia through our FINANCIAL hardships. As governor, Deal would be making business decisions; as well as decisions that will affect the finances of all the families in the state.

Only a lying idiot would go ahead with a conference call and make those asinine statements; while holding up his head. But, then again only an idiot would vote for this man after hearing what was said.

GaBlue

September 17th, 2010
11:24 am

td,

Bless your heart.

td

September 17th, 2010
11:25 am

gm, If you think the people of this state are a bunch of “hicks” then why do you stay? I promise you we will not be mad if you leave and go move into one of those other states (Calf, NY, Mass) where the residents are not such “hicks”.

greg best

September 17th, 2010
11:25 am

Last politician I heard talk about FEELING YOUR PAIN was Bill Clinton.

td

September 17th, 2010
11:30 am

Sick&Tired, I guess then the majority of the residents are going to be a bunch of “idiots” then because Deal will be the next Governor of this state. I know us “idiots” would not mind one little bit if you superior intellectual people just picked up and moved the HELL out of our state. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out my friend.

xdog

September 17th, 2010
11:31 am

Deal looks a lot like Al Haig in that snap. Bet he governs a lot like Sonny, which should help ease any financial problems he’s having.

Curious

September 17th, 2010
11:32 am

Nathan Deal and Casey Cagle don’t like Federal money? Why don’t they just pledge to reject any Federal handouts? They’ll say it will just go to the other states. Well either set the example (leadership) or quit biting the hand that feeds you.

Reckon Deal’s profitable business would that way if he had truly subscribed to the idea of free enterprise and competitive bidding?

beachmom

September 17th, 2010
11:34 am

It is now common for employers to do a credit check on any prospective employees. There is a reason they do that. Employers have learned that how a person handles their money is a good predictor of what kind of employee they will be.

I am unpersuaded by Deal’s excuse for his poor financial judgment that he was only “helping his family”. I would think a helpful family member would dissuade others from irresponsibly taking out millions of dollars in loans for which they would have no way of paying it back should anything go wrong. It wasn’t like his daughter was in trouble, and THEN he helped her. No, he was an investor in her business and then continued to assist her getting further and further into debt. I also know a bit about math, and Mr. Deal has not explained precisely how he isn’t insolvent. He is $5 million in debt, and unless he comes up with secret assets not reported upon by the AJC, he has no way of paying it back, especially not by February 2011. It’s like he thinks we are all so stupid here to believe his rationalizations, obfuscations, and justifications.

Diogenes

September 17th, 2010
11:35 am

@td. What happened to letting the people decide who their representatives are? Why does Georgia need a Governor “who will help reapportion out Democrats”? Typical Republican claptrap. The system has to be manipulated because the people do not know what is best for them.

Desparate men do desparate things. Deal has already proven his is ethically challenged. Do Georgians really want to put him in charge of state government?

jj

September 17th, 2010
11:35 am

None are so blind as those who refuse to see. Republicans were required to sign a loyalty oath, why don’t they vet their candidates. One guy was prevented from running on the Republican ballot because he wouldn’t sign it. But Deal was allowed to run even though he had just resigned from Congress under a cloud questioning his ethics. Likewise, a Republican candidate won the seat (held by the infamous Glen Richardson) even though he committed adultery with his mother-in-law. What a party of losers.

beachmom

September 17th, 2010
11:38 am

Td: what cap & trade. That bill died in the Senate. Wow, instead of spitting out talking points, you might want to read the newspaper once in a while.

Waronxmas

September 17th, 2010
11:42 am

I’d like to know how a congressmen making $100k a year, with a $2 million loan on the books, get’s approved for another $2 million loan when it’s obvious he can’t pay off both. Even business’s in the black can’t get even modest loans these days, and you’re going to tell me he never used his congressional office to make that bit of voodoo happen. Basically, he’s asking Georgian’s to make him Governor so that we can pay off his bills.

Now I am a Democrat, but even if Deal was one too I wouldn’t be voting for him. Political differences are one thing, but should take any person three seconds to see that this man would be detrimental to the already fragile economic state Georgia is in. So for the good of our state, I implore my Republican friends to vote either Libertarian or Democrat in the general election. Having that shyster Deal running the show is the quickest way to make us Alabama. I don’t want to live in Alabama.

No Deal

September 17th, 2010
11:44 am

td = truly delusional… Just because the hate in your heart wants it to be true doesn’t mean it is. Deal is a joke. What kind of person really wants to vote for this clown. You probably have the same feeling you had after McCain picked Sarah Palin as a running mate. You knew the race was over, you were just too confused to admit it. Roy is gonna win by a landslide.

td

September 17th, 2010
11:46 am

beachmom, Dead for now unless we get more conservatives in Congress. Still very high on the agenda of liberals.

Cathy

September 17th, 2010
11:49 am

The average Georgian would love to live on a “modest” income of $150K a year. That’s more than we bought our house for! He doesn’t understand a thing about the pain of real Georgians. We don’t have the collateral or the assets to get ourselves that deep into debt, nor can we afford to hire a lawyer to help us declare bankruptcy. He is a prime example of the worst of the good ol’ boy network.

Sick&Tired

September 17th, 2010
11:51 am

TD – people who would vote for Deal should move to MS, AL and places like SC; you would be in excellent company and obviously without a brain.

The only reasons people like yourself are voting for Deal is because of the “R” behind his name on the ballot. You would vote for the “Devil” to satisfy your quest for power and you will be voting for him in November.

ordinary citizen extraordinary time

September 17th, 2010
11:53 am

MATT go ahead and elect Roybama…Nathan is real …he is every man …are you doing great these days financially… Roy is …but did you see how he did it……I am glad I am not your child or your wife.

The Other Shoe

September 17th, 2010
11:55 am

Samuel J…what are you smoking?! These are not “attacks” on Deal but “facts”!

td – unfortunately, Nathan Deal has lied from the beginning. He will not win and if he does it is a really poor reflection on the Georgia Republican voter. Those outside of the Atlanta metropolitan area (that voted strongly for Handel) showed their ignorance when they didn’t believe the facts from the beginning and now the entire state will pay. I for one am very disappointed in Republican Party leadership in Georgia for allowing Deal to get this far.

deegee

September 17th, 2010
11:55 am

My eighty-five year old mother keeps Fox News on the TV whether she is at home or not because she wants them to have high ratings. Even she is disgusted by Nathan Steal.

td

September 17th, 2010
11:56 am

No Deal, I do not think I am delusional at all. I believe there are a vast majority of the electorate in this state is so angry at the Obama and the Dems that they are going to come out in mass in Nov and vote a straight Rep. ticket. A great deal of these people do not watch the local news (and the ones that do do not believe the main stream media any longer) or read this paper, they do not follow politics and only occasionally vote. They just believe Obama and the Dems are ruining this country and they want to send a message. Their message is going to be to go into the booth and vote a straight republican ticket. These people alone will give Deal anywhere between 48 to 52% of the vote (Deal would have received 57 or 58% if not for these stories).

I am willing to bet I am right are you?

The Cynical White Boy

September 17th, 2010
12:02 pm

Hell, and I thought only Zell Miller and Bill Clinton could “feel our pain”.

Just goes to show ya’, the AJC writers know more than the rest of us normal human beings. Yup.

Sick&Tired

September 17th, 2010
12:04 pm

If the majority of people in this state vote for Deal or a straight Republicans ticket; it just means we live alongside a bunch of unintelligent IDIOTS. I’m already convinced of that fact, because most of them voted for Sorry Sonny.

Re-ElectAnotherSonny?

September 17th, 2010
12:05 pm

Way back, there used to be folks that were ‘devil or die democrats’ – meaning they vote for those with (D) next to the name on the ballot, no matter how bad they were. I guess that’s the lemming population inherited by the GOP. People, please, PLEASE look at the integrity of the individuals running for office. Deal does not pass muster.

Just because he swore to pledge allegiance to the GOP, doesn’t make him a responsible individual … actually, that might make him questionable anyway….

Jonathan

September 17th, 2010
12:05 pm

What an idiot Deal and his supporters are. He is now trying to blame others for his dumbass hunting store going under. Dumbass Deal obviously never had a business plan and just figured he could start another crooked business and avoid taxes like his others and get loans from his crooked mates at the local bank.

All he has done is helped a regional bank go under costing the state 135 million dollars and avoided paying taxes on his other “cash” businesses.

Deal personifies “lack of personal responsibility” so I cannot understand how republicans can have any trust in him doing any good for our state. The way he hid this does also was basically a fraud on the voters in the runoffs who would have voted Handle if this had come out.

You may not like Barnes due to the flag crap but at least Barnes isn’t going to bankrupt our state.

td

September 17th, 2010
12:07 pm

Sick&Tired, You are partially understanding my point. Deal is going to win because their is an “R” beside his name and the vast majority of the voters are so angry at the Dems and Obama that their is no way they will vote for anyone in this election cycle with a “D” beside their name.

I can see the series of commercials and mass mailings now, linking Barnes to Obama about health care and increased taxes. I can see the ad that will be run stating Barnes sued the state to allow illegals and convicted felons to vote. Do you really think these angry voters are going to care if Deal has had failed business ventures? This is why Deal will win. I do not think it is too delusional to look at this in a realistic manner because once Deals team can attach Barnes to Obama it is all over. Why do you think Barnes ran and hid in S. Georgia when Obama came to Atlanta? He knows it as well.

a. darden

September 17th, 2010
12:08 pm

Nathan Deal should bow out of this race. His financial problems, as well as the ethics questions surrounding him, will plague him from now to election day. Once he is out, then the GA GOP should put a better candidate in his place. Karen Handel was a much BETTER choice than Deal.
Those of us who have grown up in this state are SICK and TIRED of GOOD OLD BOYS who are corrupt, incompetent, and often racist. Remember the days of Herman Talmadge, Lester Maddox, and Jimmy Carter. Wow! what a legacy for Georgia.

greg best

September 17th, 2010
12:10 pm

I notice that Roy Barnes has been running TV ads on FOX News. Looks like he is trying to rattle Deal’s supporters and make them think twice before they vote.

Re-ElectAnotherSonny?

September 17th, 2010
12:12 pm

Sadly, Deal won’t back down – he has the typical politician’s ego. The side deals he will probably be doing as gov will likely help him financially. You never know, he might get to sell a senate seat or something .

Re-ElectAnotherSonny?

September 17th, 2010
12:13 pm

Hey Greg, what do you mean Fox news viewers thinking – isn’t that an oxymoron? Fox goes by the mantra of saying a falsehood many, many times makes it true… at least in most folks minds.

The Deal Conference Call — Peach Pundit

September 17th, 2010
12:16 pm

[...] transcript is accurate and he’s right that the key moment was this: “The obligations are certainly outstanding, and we are in the process of addressing those [...]