Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) and Stacey Abrams are facing each other once more this November in a gubernatorial matchup from 2018. In a new 30-second ad from Wednesday, the governor is hitting Abrams over her support for defunding the police.
The ad features an interview Abrams did with CNN, in which she was directly asked "so yes to defunding the police?" After a pause, Abrams offers "we have to reallocate resources, so yes."
There's more to Abrams' position though than one interview. The ad also mentions a Fox News report from just earlier this month mentioning Kemp's remarks about Abrams serving as a board member for the Marguerite Casey Foundation.
The ad claims that Abrams' position would lead to "fewer cops" and "more crime," calling her "wrong and dangerous."
Since the ad aired, Axios has run cover for Abrams, with a Thursday morning exclusive by Emma Hurt claiming that she wants to fund the police. However, it's worth emphasizing that the ad from Gov. Kemp uses Abrams' own words.
Hurt also mentions the ad:
The intrigue: This week, Kemp's campaign released an ad accusing Abrams of supporting the "defund the police" movement in a past television appearance and has attacked her position on the board of the Marguerite Casey Foundation, which has included that rhetoric in social media posts.
Yes, but: "I do not, and have never said, and have never supported defunding the police," Abrams told Axios, accusing Kemp of "cherry-picking information." She emphasized that as a board member she has no control over the foundation's grants.
In addition to denying she said what she had said, Abrams has an even worse response about her position as a board member, which the Kemp campaign has called on her to resign from. By claiming she has no control over the foundation's grants, Abrams is dismissing such a serious charge.
Hurt acknowledges that the foundation uses defund the police rhetoric, and multiple Fox News reports.
In that report mentioned above, Joshua Q. Nelson writes:
Abrams' campaign previously told Fox News Digital that the second-time Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate does not hold the same views as the Marguerite Casey Foundation, which she joined in May 2021. The group has voiced support for defunding and abolishing the police on several occasions.
Abrams, who has tried to distance herself from the hardline rhetoric of the "defund the police" movement in the past, has received at least $52,500 in income from the foundation, according to her financial disclosures.
Abrams can't entirely escape the defund the police movement and rhetoric, and it doesn't look like she's trying too hard to do so.
Another Fox News report, by Joe Schoffstall noted that "Stacey Abrams fundraiser host donated $10K to bail fund aimed at 'world without prisons, policing'," and that "Abrams' approval of policing initiative is seemingly at odds with her campaign's past comments to Fox News Digital."
Schoffstall's report mentioned:
The Marguerite Casey Foundation, a far-left grant-making organization that counts Stacey Abrams as a board member, increased its anti-police funding shortly after she joined the group and with her approval, despite her campaign saying she disagrees with the foundation on such issues.
And while Abrams has remained tight-lipped on the defunding issue on the campaign trail, a press release from the foundation issued weeks after she became one of its governors shows that she supported its expanded anti-police efforts.
The Marguerite Casey Foundation launched the "Answer the Uprising" initiative in late May 2021, which includes increased financial support to liberal groups working on law enforcement issues. It also established a coalition with other high-dollar grant-making organizations that provide backing to defund the police groups.
The foundation began the campaign on the first anniversary of the "racial justice uprisings," which the group says challenged "white supremacy and the systems that maintain it as one of the most dominant forces in our lives."
It received unanimous backing from its board, including Abrams.
"This latest initiative is fully supported by Marguerite Casey Foundation's Board of Directors, which recently named seven new changemakers to the Board, including Stacey Abrams and Rashad Robinson, President of Color Of Change," its press release said.
Jessica Chasmar reported for Fox News about Abrams' position on the board on May 26.
Not mentioned in Hurt's exclusive for Axios is how Abrams' plans call for lessening penalties for violent crimes, eliminating cash bail, and allowing offenders to scrub their records.
The Axios exclusive also acknowledges that Abrams is in favor of gun control, which Hurt also received an exclusive on, from earlier this month.