Former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D-Ga.) claimed that she couldn’t concede her 2018 race to Gov. Brian Kemp (R-Ga.) because it would have made her “complicit” in a “rigged” system.
Abrams ran a closer-than-expected race for governor in the typically dark red state of Georgia in 2018. Despite her attention-grabbing campaign, the former state representative lost to Kemp — who was serving as Georgia’s secretary of state at the time — by around 55,000 votes.
Although she had clearly lost the race, Abrams refused to concede at the conclusion of her campaign because she alleged that Kemp had suppressed votes by enforcing the state’s voter ID laws during the election.
Because of the tumultuous end to her campaign, Abrams started a nonprofit to address voter suppression in the United States.
This move was mocked by many Republicans who believe Abrams threatened democracy by refusing to concede the election to Kemp. Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel called out Abrams online.
If Stacey Abrams actually cared about the integrity of elections, she’d concede the Georgia governor’s race that she lost by 55,000 votes.
Instead she’s on national TV today still thinking she won.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) August 18, 2019
During an interview on “CBS This Morning,” Abrams responded to McDaniel and her other critics and claimed that she could not concede because it would make her “complicit” in a “rigged” system.
Watch Abram’s comments:
“Concession means to say that the process was fair. But when I run an organization, that in ten days, between election night and the night I refused to concede, we received more than 50,000 phone calls of people who were denied the right to vote. I’m complicit if I say that that system is fair. I did not deny the legal sufficiency of the election. I am not claiming to be the governor of Georgia.”
Before trying to explain why she wouldn’t concede, Abrams tried to claim that President Donald Trump has done more damage to democracy by hypothetically not conceding an election that hasn’t even happened.
“There’s a lot that’s been made of the fact that I did not concede my election, but I never denied the legal sufficiency of that election. And that’s the difference between me and Trump. He refuses to acknowledge the legal sufficiency or threatens not to.”
It remains unclear how President Trump’s hypothetical refusal to concede is worse than her actual refusal to concede.
Abrams could be one of the names on the ticket opposite Trump in 2020. She has been heavily floated to be a vice-presidential contender, though she denies that any candidate has made an official offer.