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ATLANTE – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams explained her recent comment that Georgia is the “worst state in the country to live in” as an “inelegant delivery,” but says she stands by her criticism of Republican Gov. Brian Kemp.
Abrams, who faces no opposition in Tuesday’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, said Saturday, “I’m tired of hearing that we’re the best state in the country to do business when we’re the worst state. country to live,” during a speech at the Gwinnett Democrats’ Bluetopia Gala in Norcross, according to audio released by the Gwinnett Daily Post.
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Abrams acknowledged over the weekend that his statement would be “politicized” ahead of the primary and further explained that his state has a lot to do on issues such as mental health and incarceration.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Abrams stood by his earlier remarks, which were lambasted by Kemp, former Sen. David Perdue, who is Kemp’s main challenge, and many other GOP leaders inside and out. outside of Georgia.
But Abrams, who narrowly lost to Kemp in the 2018 gubernatorial election and has become a rising Democratic Party star and nationally known advocate for electoral reform, stressed that she will continue to insist on the fact that “Brian Kemp is a failed governor who doesn’t care about the people of Georgia.”
“If you look at his record, if you look at the outcome, under his four years of leadership, there has been failure after failure,” Abrams said.
Abrams reiterated that Georgia is “number one for maternal mortality, number two for the number of uninsured people. We are number six for infant mortality, number nine for gun violence. We are number 48 for the provision of mental health services. have is that the response of Republicans, from our former senator to our current governor, is to fight me instead of fighting the problems Georgia faces.”
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Kemp, in a Monday interview with Fox News, called Abrams’ early comments “disappointing.”
“I’m so proud that we’re the number one state in the nation for business. We have the lowest unemployment rate in our state’s history, the most people working,” the governor said.
“I wake up every morning and am so grateful to be the governor of this state and to serve these resilient people and that we live in the greatest state in the land to live, work and raise our families. It’s disappointing , she [Abrams] don’t think that but I love it,” Kemp pointed out.
Asked by Fox News whether Abrams’ comments will appear in Kemp campaign ads if he wins Tuesday’s primary, the governor said, “We’ll see. I’m telling you I’ve heard a lot of people send me messages about this I can just I don’t believe it Especially from someone who went from owing taxes to now two homes in the state Amazing you would do this if you don’t really love our state or don’t love our state as I do.
And Kemp added that Abrams “can say whatever she wants. I’m going to keep doing and saying what I promised to do in 2018 and that’s exactly what I did. I think it’s This is one of the reasons we’re increasing right now.. We have to close it tomorrow. The only poll that matters is tomorrow’s.
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The most recent surveys indicate Kemp holds a single-digit advantage over Abrams in a likely rematch in November in a state that was once reliably red but has in recent cycles turned into a champ. of major battle for the general elections.
Abrams told reporters Tuesday that “four years ago I warned Kemp was going to be a failure. And four years later I’m going to prove he was the wrong choice for Georgia.”
Asked by Fox News if she will campaign with President Biden — whose underwater approval ratings are doing Democrats a disservice as they run in the 2022 election — this fall, Abrams said: ‘I want the welcome President Biden because he delivered for the state of Georgia. We’ve seen billions of dollars come into the state.”
Early voting turnout in Georgia’s primary this year has increased from previous milestones – and it has sparked a new debate over an election law that has tightened voter registration processes. It was passed last year by the GOP-controlled legislature and signed into law by Kemp.
The law was heavily criticized by Democrats last year, but Republicans are now touting that this year’s vigorous turnout proves that Democrats’ arguments that the law was a vote-suppressing measure were far from accurate.
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But Abrams, who was one of the law’s critics, disagrees.
“We know that increasing turnout has nothing to do with repression,” she said. “The crackdown is whether or not you make it difficult for voters to vote. And in Georgia, we know that difficulties have been put in place for too many Georgians who want to vote by mail, who have had to set a timetable for just soon enough but not too late, who had to have what signatures to be able to print things, take a picture, upload We know that across the state counties have taken advantage of county election commissions that have changed their dynamics .
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And she argued that “voter turnout is not proof that there is no repression. It is the antidote to repression. And we will continue to fight to ensure that every Georgian voter who wishes to vote may do so.”
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