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Story highlights

She added that she instead wants "an economy that is robust with low taxes and regulation"

Handel's comments almost instantly went viral

(CNN) —  

Democrats are jumping on Georgia congressional candidate Karen Handel for saying she’s against a “livable wage” during a debate in the Peach State Tuesday night.

When asked about her position on minimum wage, Handel, a Republican, responded: “This is an example of a fundamental difference between a liberal and a conservative. I do not support a livable wage.”

She added that she instead wants “an economy that is robust with low taxes and regulation.”

Despite her follow-up, Handel’s comments almost instantly went viral, and groups like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee were quick to clip and widely share the moment.

“Even after 15 years running for office, Karen Handel couldn’t resist admitting she’s against a livable wage,” the DCCC said in an email blast Wednesday.

The Democratic Party’s official Twitter account labeled her position “indefensible” and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said the comments prove “she has no business being in Congress.”

Sen. Tim Kaine, the Democrats’$2 2016 vice presidential candidate, tweeted, “I stand for better skills, better jobs, better wages!”

Progressive groups, including MoveOn.org and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, also highlighted the moment.

Handel faced off against Democrat Jon Ossoff for the first time Tuesday night ahead of the June 20 Georgia special election. Ossoff narrowly missed an outright victory in April. He received 48.1% of the vote, shy of the 50% needed to win outright.

Polling currently shows a very close contest between the two, with Ossoff leading in some surveys. This is despite a history of Republicans holding the congressional district for more than 40 years. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich at one point held the seat for 20 years.

CNN’s Eric Bradner contributed to this report.