Chambliss brings campaign to town

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., brought his re-election announcement tour to Columbus Tuesday.

He made the official announcement Monday in his hometown of Moultrie. Chambliss, who is seeking his second term, made three stops in Columbus, first he spoke to about 85 people at the Columbus Public Library. He then held a private fund raiser and toured Columbus electronic payments processor TSYS. He left Columbus heading to Macon, Augusta, Savannah and Atlanta.

Five Democrats have lined up for the opportunity to face Chambliss in November.

"I know this race is going to be very tough," Chambliss said after his speech. "The National Democratic Party has targeted us."

Chambliss said he welcomes appearing on the Georgia ballot with presumptive presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

"I feel very good about running with John," Chambliss said. "We have had our differences over the years. At the end of the day, John is a man of principle and I am a man of principle. We have put those differences behind us."

Chambliss and Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, both have endorsed McCain, who was in Atlanta two weeks ago for a fund raiser.

With Georgia's strong military connection that reaches deep into Fort Benning, Chambliss said he would welcome McCain into the state any time.

"No one is stronger on the military than John McCain," Chambliss said. "I would like to have him back down here to tour Fort Benning and Fort Stewart."

Isakson, who is up for re-election in two years, introduced Chambliss here Tuesday. He is watching the fight between Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.

"It hurts the Democrats the longer it goes on," Isakson said. "The last two weeks have been tough on them — unsettling.

Isakson would not be drawn into picking a winner on the Democratic side.

"I have been in this game 34 years," he said. "You handicap yourself. If you handicap them, you are making a big mistake."

He is watching who will be in the No. 2 person on both tickets.

"To me, that's the big thing, who they pick as the vice presidential nominee," Isakson said. "Who does John pick and who do they pick?"