Failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate and potential presidential candidate Stacey Abrams on Wednesday demanded that every Democrat running for president speak about “voter suppression every day” and fight the “internal threat” that the nation faces because America is “not an authoritarian regime just yet.”
Speaking at the Center for American Progress Ideas Conference, Abrams, who is also on the left-wing organization’s board, said voters have time in the next two years to change the country’s trajectory and fight the “internal threat we face” by backing more candidates that “look like our communities.”
“We are not an authoritarian regime just yet,” Abrams said.
Abrams demanded that Democrats running for president look voters in the eye and say, “I see you, I understand your challenges, I see the barriers you face, and I am willing to tackle those obstacles not through vague language and not through opprobrium, but through action, through policies, and through determination.”
“And whether we have 23, 24, 25, or 150 candidates for president, we should demand from every single person an adherence to the values that we hold to be true. They must speak about voter suppression every day until every person who is legally entitled to vote has the right to vote in the United States of America,” Abrams said. “When we see our voters and we give them their voices, we will see the change we need in America, and we will survive for another generation.”
Abrams last week reportedly paid off her IRS, student loan, and credit card debts ahead of a potential presidential run and revealed that she could enter the presidential race after the debates if if she thinks she can win and other Democrats are not discussing issues, like voter suppression, that she thinks “matter most” in this election cycle.
“I want to make certain that the issues that matter most to me are being pushed,” Abrams told the Los Angeles Times. “I want to make certain that we have the right strategy for victory — a strategy that is not to turn around defeating a single person, but more importantly about pushing for the values that we believe will win America. That’s going to be what I look at. And if we don’t have that, I will run if I think I can win.”
Abrams also said on MSNBC that she thinks she could enter the race in the fall and still win.
An Abrams spokesman told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week that Abrams “retired the roughly $54,000 she owed to the IRS, as well as other credit card and student loan debt she reported during last year’s election run.”
Abrams responded after the outlet asked about her “financial status as she travels across the nation to sell her book and lines up speaking engagements through a prominent agency.”
In addition to the roughly $54,000 she owed the IRS, Abrams reportedly revealed that she had about “$170,000 in credit card and student loan debt, in financial documents in March.” Abrams reportedly “said she deferred the tax payments in 2015 and 2016 to help pay her family’s medical expenses and that she was on a payment plan to settle the debts.”
Besides her signature issue of “voter suppression,” Abrams, who passed on a 2020 Senate bid, said she is “deeply concerned” about health care and ensuring “economic security — that everyone has the opportunity to work and to take care of themselves and their families.”
“And undergirding that are conversations about education and criminal justice reform,” Abrams told the Times. “Those are the issues that I’m going to be looking for and listening to as I watch the debates unfold.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden holds a commanding lead nationally in the RealClearPolitics polling average and a 23.5-point lead in the key first-in-the-South primary state of South Carolina, where African American voters will make up a majority of the primary electorate.
The gaffe-prone former vice president, though, is out of step with the left-wing base on his ties to Wall Street, crony capitalism, support for the Iraq War, his son’s shady financial dealings with Chinese and Eastern European entities, his authorship of the infamous crime bill, and his past comments in opposition to school busing and argument that that white men should be responsible for the sins of their ancestors.
If Democrats pummel Biden mercilessly in the first two debates and his poll numbers plummet because left-wing primary voters either think his values do not align with theirs or come to the conclusion that he may not be the most electable Democrat against Trump, Abrams could see a path to nomination.
The Journal-Constitution noted that “retiring the debt could choke off one of the most forceful criticisms” Abrams “faced last year as she prepares for another electoral bid.”