Right-wing media attack Stacey Abrams after she delivers the Democratic response to the SOTU
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After Stacey Abrams, the 2018 Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate, delivered the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, conservative media figures reacted by downplaying voter suppression.
On January 29, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced that Abrams would deliver the Democratic response:
Stacey Abrams is a great spokesperson, incredible leader
She has led the charge for voting rights
She knows what working class & middle class people go through@SpeakerPelosi & I are excited she’s agreed to give the Democratic response to @realDonaldTrump’s State of the Union pic.twitter.com/wketlkrg1e
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 29, 2019
In addition to giving a platform to a prominent figure in the party, Abrams' selection sent a message after House Democrats proposed their first bill of the 2019 session, which included provisions to expand and protect voting rights. Abrams’ narrow loss in the governor’s race was tainted by widespread voter suppression in Georgia in the two years before the 2018 election -- much of it spearheaded by Abrams’ opponent, now-Gov. Brian Kemp. Kemp, who was Georgia’s secretary of state and oversaw his own election despite calls for him to resign, was responsible for purging more than 1.4 million voter registrations since 2012. He also placed more than 53,000 registration applications on hold, nearly 70 percent of which came from Black people. Many of the applications were held up because of small errors such as “a dropped hyphen in a last name.”
In stark contrast to Kemp, Abrams is a strong advocate for voting rights, as Schumer also noted during his announcement. Abrams also aggressively condemned Kemp’s undemocratic and racist tactics both before and after the election.
Despite Abrams’ record of backing voting rights and Kemp’s attempts at voter suppression, some right-wing media figures argued after the selection was announced that Abrams had attempted to undermine the results of the gubernatorial election. Sinclair’s Boris Epshteyn wrote that Abrams was “unable to accept her loss in the race for governor.” Others mocked Democrats for picking a “failed” candidate to deliver their response.
Predictably, right-wing media reacted to her February 5 response to the State of the Union with a denial of the impact of voter suppression:
Abrams says upholding voting integrity — like the 58,000 people who illegally voted here in Texas or the sophisticated voter fraud ring in Tarrant County (I spoke today to AG @KenPaxtonTX re this) — is suppression. Votes cancelled by fraud isn’t though?
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) February 6, 2019
I actually don't think Abrams' speech is bad. The deliver is solid. But it is really striking that the Democrats chose a losing candidate who no longer holds office to talk about her past success.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) February 6, 2019
— Jim Hoft (@gatewaypundit) February 6, 2019
Georgia had a free and fair election and Stacey Abrams lost fair and square.
— Lisa Boothe (@LisaMarieBoothe) February 6, 2019
Ah, Stacey Abrams talks about threats to democracy (reminder, she is for illegal aliens voting). She's also lying about voter suppression. #SOTU
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) February 6, 2019
HILARIOUS how @staceyabrams talked about threats to our democracy!
SHE LITERALLY IN FAVOR OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS VOTING IN OUR ELECTIONS!
— Ben Ferguson (@benfergusonshow) February 6, 2019
Stacy Abrams: Lets me clear expecting people to know how to get ID in order to vote is asking too much of people.
— Mark Young (@MarkYoungTruth) February 6, 2019
Stacey Abrams' #SOTU response in short: "I'm a compassionate person. Republicans are bad. Here are a plethora of standard Democratic talking points." Oh yea, and had to call into question legitimacy of her election loss, just like Hillary.
— Benjamin Weingarten (@bhweingarten) February 6, 2019
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) February 6, 2019
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