Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia, speaking to the Muscogee County Democratic Committee in Columbus. A published romance novelist, Abrams says storytelling is central to her campaign. “Storytelling is absolutely a necessary part of how you do politics because people need to understand that you get their story and that you can explain complicated ideas to them in ways that resonate, especially if it is not their own story.”(ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Abrams jabs Kemp on CNN, NBC – and gets slammed on Fox News 

‘We’re in an upside-down world now’

Democrat Stacey Abrams made the Sunday talk show rounds on Sunday to sharpen her criticism of Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s oversight of Georgia’s elections. 

On CNN’s “State of the Union” and NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the Democratic candidate for governor said her Republican rival’s handling of voter registrations that were put on hold is part of a “pattern of behavior to try to tilt the playing field in his favor.” 

“When something goes well he takes credit, but when there’s a problem he blames everyone else. Voting should not be a question of trust,” she said on CNN, adding: “And right now he’s eroding the public trust in the system.” 

More than 50,000 voter registrations were put on hold because election officials couldn’t verify information submitted with their registration applications. Potential voters can still participate in this year’s elections if they show photo ID either when they go to vote or beforehand.

Kemp has long refused to step down from the post, pointing to others who stayed in the job while running for higher office. He’s accused Abrams of trying to gin up a “manufactured crisis” over his compliance with a 2017 law that requires voter registration information to match official records. 

She was also pressed on her response to former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s assertion, at an Abrams campaign office, that when Republicans “go low, we kick them.” Abrams told CNN’s Jake Tapper that “hyperbole in elections can be very difficult” and endorsed a different sort of strategy.

“I believe that the best approach for Democrats is to vote, to be engaged in our body politic, and to do the work to get people to turn out and to recreate our electorate to truly reflect the diversity of the state,” she said. 


She was also featured prominently on Fox News – though not as a guest. 

The Fox & Friends programs played a clip of her talking about the “blue wave” that Democrats will help fuel November victories. She said that movement includes "those who are told they’re not worthy of being here. It’s comprised of the documented and undocumented.”

That earned her eye-rolls from the hosts, who blasted her for suggesting that undocumented immigrants would cast ballots in the midterms. 

“We’re in an upside-down world now,” said one. 

Kemp has said there is no possibility of illegal votes in Georgia because the state passed one of the nation’s first voter ID laws in 2005.


Read more recent AJC coverage of the Georgia race for governor:

Early voting in Georgia starts Monday, a decisive election moment  

AJC/Channel 2 poll: Abrams and Kemp in tight race; Trump’s approval up  

What you need to know about Georgia’s 53,000 pending voters  

On the Georgia trail: Fresh calls for Kemp to resign, a 2020 visit and Luda  

In Georgia governor’s race, the middle is up in the air  

The Jolt: Stacey Abrams, Georgia Dems double down on ‘exact match’  

Relations between state, Atlanta will change with new Georgia governor 

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.