Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams was ready for all of Republican Brian Kemp’s attacks, and she showed why Republicans are so afraid that she will win in November.
Voter suppression was the central theme of the debate:
Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams was ready for all of Republican Brian Kemp’s attacks, and she showed why Republicans are so afraid that she will win in November. https://t.co/K24U2ijL4a pic.twitter.com/26sWxBmLir
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) October 24, 2018
Brian Kemp claimed that Stacey Abrams is a tax cheat, while Abrams claimed that Kemp is deadbeat on a half of a million dollar loan. Kemp claimed that he has made it easier to vote and harder to cheat in Georgia.
Stacey Abrams championed the Medicaid expansion, and Kemp responded with the Republican boilerplate answer that giving people cheaper and better access to healthcare is broken plan. Kemp said expanding government programs in rural Georgia is a bad plan, and touted himself as a job creator.
Kemp is repeating the line that he is making it easier to vote like he has political Tourettes, as it is clear that the leaked audio of him worrying about minorities voting has had an impact. Kemp promised that he is going to go after drug cartels, and accused Abrams of being soft on crime. Abrams responded with a strong resume of fighting the drug problem.
Abrams gave a strong answer about supporting criminal justice reform and getting rid of the cash bail system.
Kemp was asked if he would stand there and say that there is no attempt to suppress the minority vote. Kemp said absolutely not, and called it a distraction from Stacey Abrams radical agenda on health care, and giving illegal immigrants access to the HOPE scholarship and raise taxes.
Abrams responded by saying the right to vote is a right, and under Sec. Kemp more people have lost their right to vote in Georgia because they have been purged and scared. Abrams promised that she will work to make sure that all Georgians who are legally allowed have their right to vote protected. Kemp responded by blaming Obama.
Stacey Abrams was formidable
Stacey Abrams was strong and formidable. She was able to go point for point with Kemp. It is easy to see why this election is a dead heat. Abrams was the best candidate on the stage who was able to defend herself from various levels of smears and also advance a policy agenda that was a good fit for the increasingly purple attitudes of Georgia. The Kemp strategy was to paint Abrams as a radical, but she instead looked and sounded like a governor with a detailed and well thought out agenda.
Brian Kemp was mush
Brian Kemp could have been replaced with one of 200 other generic Republican candidates and no one would have noticed the difference. Kemp went with the old Republican standards of blaming Obama, attacking Obamacare as socialism, and playing up the fear of the immigrant. There is nothing unique about Kemp. He is a symptom of the Republican Party’s problem of not being able to attract good candidates. Kemp is not a good candidate, but he still might win if his voter suppression works.
Republicans should be nervous. Stacey Abrams is good, and on a level playing field, she would probably be favored to win.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association