Stacey Abrams will say that the hopes of American families are being “crushed” by Republican political leadership in the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.
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In excerpts that were released ahead of her speech, the failed candidate for Georgia governor and possible 2020 Senate candidate touches on themes that were key to her bid last year, including economic justice and voting rights.
“In Georgia and around the country, people are striving for a middle class where a salary truly equals economic security,” Abrams will say. “But instead, families’ hopes are being crushed by Republican leadership that ignores real life or just doesn’t understand it.”
Abrams, who is the first black woman to deliver the formal response, also plans to address the recently ended partial government shutdown, the longest in American history. In the audience Monday night will be a number of federal government employees who missed paychecks as a result of the closure.
“Just a few weeks ago, I joined volunteers to distribute meals to furloughed federal workers. They waited in line for a box of food and a sliver of hope since they hadn’t received a paycheck in weeks,” Abrams will say. “Making their livelihoods a pawn for political games is a disgrace.”
The former activist and attorney will call the shutdown a “stunt engineered by the president of the United States, one that defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people – but our values.”
Trump is expected to use his State of the Union — his third address to a joint session of Congress — to call for bipartisanship and tout his economic record. But observers doubt that the president, who reportedly told aides that early versions of the speech were too gentle on Democrats, will make any serious concessions.
Abrams, formerly the Democratic Leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, will use her own address to discuss bipartisanship.
“We may come from different sides of the political aisle, but our joint commitment to the ideals of this nation cannot be negotiable,” she will say.
Democrats have pushed Abrams to run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Sen. David Perdue of Georgia. Abrams has said she is “thinking about” a bid for that office, or potentially another run for governor.
Abrams will deliver her full response after Trump’s address concludes. Trump’s speech is slated to begin at 9 p.m. ET. and is expected to last about 45 minutes.
This post was originally posted at https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/05/families-crushed-by-gop-stacey-abrams-will-say-in-sotu-response.html. WGEH does not own this content and is not responsible for it.