Judge Brett Kavanaugh
Photo: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Photo: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

On the Georgia trail: An ‘appalling’ Trump tweet, Dem reinforcements and a bus tour 

Stacey Abrams joined the chorus of Democrats who criticized Donald Trump for challenging Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, calling the president’s words “appalling” in a tweet. 

The Democratic candidate for governor was referring to Trump’s tweets Friday focused on Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when both were in high school. He wrote that if the attack “was as bad as she says,” charges should have been immediately filed.

That triggered a torrent of outrage, including criticism from fellow Republicans and thousands of tweets from victims of sexual assault using the #WhyIDidntReport hashtag. 

Abrams mirrored those critiques, saying it “is exactly why Dr. Ford—and so many other survivors of traumatic experiences—don't feel they can come forward to seek justice. Instead of blaming survivors of assault, we must do everything in our power to support them and hold perpetrators accountable.”

Attacks on Trump have largely been absent from Abrams’ strategy, as she seems reluctant to vilify the president lest she rev up his supporters. But her campaign may be more willing to pounce on his explosive remarks as her November race against Republican Brian Kemp nears.

Kemp, the secretary of state, earlier wrote to Senate Judiciary Committee leaders praising Kavanaugh’s “clear understanding of the proper role of a judge.” It’s not immediately clear if he stands by his support.

Kemp has pegged his bid for governor on allying himself with the president. But he’s distanced himself from the sagas rocking Trump’s presidency by saying he’s not paying attention to “what all is going on in Washington.” 

Interestingly, Abrams’ comments echoed remarks from Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate Republican who also told reporters she was “appalled” by Trump’s tweet and said it could further stigmatize victims of sexual assault. 

Poll conducted by the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs, for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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More Democratic reinforcements began pouring into Georgia over the weekend. 

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper revved up canvassers at a Democratic Party of Georgia volunteer event, while U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters touted Stacey Abrams’ “empowering” platform at an Atlanta fundraiser.

“She understands how important it is to invest in public education and to make sure we are investing in our future,” Waters was quoted as saying by the Abrams campaign on social media

A far bigger name – Vice President Joe Biden – is set to stump for Abrams in Georgia on Thursday. That’s a day after he swings through Charleston to raise cash for James Smith, the Democratic nominee for South Carolina governor. 

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Brian Kemp is preparing to fuel up his bus tour again.

The Republican announced the latest iteration of his “Putting Georgians First” statewide trek to begin Oct. 1 and visit 27 stops over five days. The stops largely skirt dense metro counties and focus on the small-town and rural areas where he hopes to wrack up huge margins in November. 

Among the more noteworthy visits is a gun range in Jasper and a struggling medical center in Cook County

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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.
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