Stacey Abrams is walking back remarks she made during a Gwinnett Democratic gala over the weekend, calling Georgia the “worst state in the country to live.”
“I am tired of hearing about how we're the best state in the country to do business when we are the worst state in the country to live," she said. “Let me contextualize. When you're No. 48 for mental health, when we're No. 1 for maternal mortality, when you have an incarceration rate that is on the rise and wages are on the decline, then you are not the No. 1 place to live."
Gov. Brian Kemp and other Republicans quickly seized on the comment.
“I tell people I wake up every single day, and believe now more than I ever have, that we live in the greatest state in the country to live work and raise our families,” Kemp said during an online briefing on Monday, according to AJC. “It’s no wonder that she thinks that way. She’s criticized everything I’ve done.”
Fox News's Tucker Carlson mocked the Democrat for her unusual campaign strategy.
"Well, there’s a campaign tactic you don’t see very often: 'I hate this place. Elect me!'” he said.
In addition to reframing her message, Abrams also acknowledged what she said was “inartfully delivered.”
GA may be #1 place for biz, but we’re #48 in mental health, #2 in uninsured. #1 in maternal mortality & new HIV cases, #9 in gun violence. For too many, Kemp’s Georgia doesn’t include them. Why? Because #KempDoesntCare— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) May 22, 2022
As Governor, I’ll lead #OneGeorgia that’s #1 for all of us.
"I think it was inartfully delivered," she told MSNBC. "My point was a point that I’ve made many times, and my passion in making this point is important, because we’re listening to Brian Kemp give — give a narrative about a record that does not reflect reality. The more I go around the state, the more I talk to people who are deeply in pain, who are concerned about the fact that just, you know, recently, he has declined pandemic SNAP relief for 1.6 million families, families that are struggling to find a way to take care of themselves and children and to trying to find baby formula. He’s said no to $120 million for those families. He struck $4 million from the state budget for HIV and AIDS protection. These are communities where we are No. 1 in the nation in HIV diagnoses.
"My point is well-intended, which is that for so many Georgians this is not the No. 1 place to be, but we have the capacity for greatness," she continued. "And if people didn’t splice the pieces they like and actually listened to my entire narrative, my point is that I want more for Georgia. I believe in our greatness. I moved here for the first time because my parents brought me, I came back the second time because this is where I want to live.”