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Georgia GOP hopefuls sidestep Trump fact checks

Loeffler, Collins both told 11Alive Trump's message is what matters.

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Within hours of the conclusion of the Republican National Convention, Georgia GOP Senate candidates Kelly Loeffler and Doug Collins were talking up the president's message in front of voters.

US Rep. Doug Collins held a "women for Collins" event in Alpharetta Friday afternoon, and had another planned in Gainesville Friday night. Congressman Collins has been a close ally of President Trump since Trump entered the White House.

It was also by design that Republican US Sen. Kelly Loeffler held a noisy rally in Marietta the day after the president spoke from the south lawn of the White House.  

"You know, I was with the president last night. He told me to tell y'all hello," Loeffler told supporters at the event in Marietta Friday morning.

Loeffler has only been in the US Senate eight months, but she has exerted considerable energy tying herself to President Trump – as she competes with Collins for Republican votes in the special election to the US senate.

Neither made any mention of fact-checks made overnight to Trump's speech. In one instance, he vowed to protect Medicare and Social Security from cuts, a promise he also made in 2016. Yet, in his 2019 budget, he pitched nearly $2 trillion in cuts to entitlement programs that include Medicare and Social Security.

RELATED: VERIFY: Fact-checking the final night of the Republican National Convention

He also claimed that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden opposes "school choice." Yet, Biden supports non-profit charter schools, and supports public school choice within school districts.

When asked about the president's truthfulness during his speech, Loeffler said his remarks were "extremely truthful. He talked about the facts, the record he has built, the fact that he’s delivered on the promises he made," she claimed.

Loeffler added that "I don’t think the fact-checkers are that impressive either."

Collins said he also believes the president’s message was what was important last night. 

"Acknowledging the problems, but saying there’s a much better future. I was excited about what I saw out of it last night," Collins said. "There's never 100 percent truthful from (the news media) and everything what he said was what we’ve done and how we’d do it. The important thing to look at here is how we look at this country."

Republicans think whichever of the two – Collins or Loeffler – can best tie themselves to the president will be most likely to make a runoff in November’s special election for the US Senate.  

And if one of them is successful, the Democrats will use that tie with Trump as a blunt instrument of attack in a runoff.

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