Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp announced Tuesday that he backing away from a scheduled debate with his Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams to appear with President Donald Trump at a campaign rally.
Abrams slammed her opponent for backing out of the debate that had been scheduled for six weeks, “As #GAGov. I will honor my commitments to the people of Georgia,” she tweeted Wednesday.
.@wsbtv: "On Tuesday, six weeks after agreeing to participate, Kemp cancelled his appearance in the debate. Abrams did not pull out."
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) November 1, 2018
Kemp, on the other hand, is placing the blame on his opponent. He released a statement Wednesday accusing his opponent of not rescheduling the debate. He did not mention that he canceled it or that he was attending a Trump rally instead of the debate in the statement:
“After repeated efforts to schedule a debate on the issues that matter most to Georgia voters, radical Stacey Abrams decided she would rather hide behind television ads paid for by San Francisco socialists than face the voters and defend her extreme agenda that will raise taxes by $13,000 a person, give welfare and voting rights to illegal immigrants, and usher in the government takeover of healthcare.”
The debate, which was to be the last one before the election, was scheduled to happen on Sunday at 5 p.m. in Atlanta. Trump announced he would campaign in Macon, Georgia at 4 p.m. the same day.
“We regret that we had to cancel but once Secretary Kemp pulled out at the last minute, the candidates could not agree to a new time,” Channel 2 News Director Misti Turnball said in a statement.
“Our number one concern is giving Georgia voters what was promised, and that is a debate with all the candidates. As in past major elections, we work to bring the candidates together in a debate forum, so the viewers and their constituents can hear each candidate’s responses to pressing questions.”
Georgia’s gubernatorial race is neck-and-neck and Democrats are hoping Abrams will be the one to flip the governor seat blue.
In a recent poll from Fox 5 Atlanta, Abrams had a one-point lead on Kemp, however, and NBC Marist poll had Kemp in leading by two points.