TUCKER, GA -- It was a high-minded look, with Democrat Jason Carter touring Tucker High School and talking about education. It mirrored a similar classroom tour by Republican Governor Deal in Henry County earlier this week. But the high-minded issue of education morphed quickly into jobs, as the state announced a rise in Georgia's unemployment rate for the third straight month. It sent Carter on the offensive.
"Right now, the business climate essentially works for people who have a direct line to the governor's office. And it's not working top to bottom," Carter said after the classroom tour.
But Deal says the state continues to create new jobs -- despite its rising unemployment rate.
"It is one of the leading job creating states in the entire country," Deal said. "I don't know what he wants to talk about. But if he wants to make job creation an issue, I welcome it."
Gov. Deal was also willing to change the subject - by trying to tie Jason Carter to utterances made by his famous grandfather, Jimmy Carter. The former president called for new carbon taxes to help fight climate change.
"I would assume his grandson is advocating the same policies, since he is using (the former president) as his primary fundraiser," Deal said. "(Voters) should think very hard about what it would be like to have a governor who supports that."
Deal has also tried to tie Jason Carter to the former president's views on the middle east. Jason Carter calls it a distraction.
"The governor is talking about something that has nothing to do with Georgia," Carter said. "It just shows how far he's willing to go to avoid the subject."
And Carter says one of the subjects should be education-- which, this week in politics, was little more than a pair of high-minded photo ops.