NORCROSS, Ga. - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams defended remarks she made over the weekend that Georgia is the worst state in the country, referring to its poor rankings in maternal mortality and incarceration rates, among other issues.
Abrams, who is expected to receive her party's gubernatorial nomination in Georgia's primary on Tuesday, was speaking at a fundraising dinner for Gwinnett County Democrats outside Atlanta when she pushed back Republican Gov. Brain Kemp's frequent boasts about Georgia being the best state in the country for business.
Abrams said on Saturday that he was tired of hearing about being the best state in the country to do business when he said that they were the worst state in the country to live.
Now, somebody is going to try to Politifact me on this — let me contextualize, Abrams said. When you have an incarceration rate that is on the rise and wages are on the decline, then you are not the No. In the United States, 1 place to live is in the United States. Georgia is capable of greatness. We just need greatness in our governor's office. Abrams clarified those statistics in a tweet and Instagram post. Georgia has the highest maternal mortality rate in the country, and is one of many states with a minimum wage that is equal to the federal rate, but fares better in other categories like education and crime.
Her comment caused a lot of criticism from the right, with former Trump White House adviser Stephen Miller dubbing it a contender for the worst campaign slogan and Fox News host Brian Kilmeade calling it very odd. Kemp wrote on Twitter that he believes Georgia is the best state to live, work, and raise a family, and that he will work hard every day from now to November to keep it that way. The governor's campaign said he is likely to address Abrams remarks on stage Monday night during a rally with former Vice President Mike Pence.
Kemp is facing a primary challenge Tuesday from former Sen. David Perdue, who is backed by former President Donald Trump, but Perdue's campaign has struggled to gain traction and polls show the incumbent far ahead.
Kemp defeated Abrams in 2018, and their likely rematch in November is expected to be one of the highest-profile governor's races in the country, testing just how blue historically red Georgia has become.