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Stacey Abrams Blasts Trump After Jacksonville Rally

Stacey Abrams
Stacey Abrams

Among other comments, the former vice presidential contender said Democrats would have waited until after the election to nominate a new Supreme Court justice.

Former Georgia legislator Stacey Abrams gave a pointed reaction to President Trump's speech at a rally in Jacksonville Thursday night. Abrams - who was considered as one of Joe Biden's choices for vice president - took the president to task for what she said was his failure to act in time to save untold lives beause of the pandemic.

"I think the muckraking is part and parcel of how he has always led, which is that he leads through mendacity," Abrams said. "He leads through distraction. And he leads through incompetence."

She said Democrats would have waited until after the election to nominate a new Supreme Court justice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

"We know that Democrats have always followed the process. It is advise and consent," she said. "No pick a person and rush it through because you're afraid you're going to lose an election."

Abrams said the fate of the Affordable Care Act and the ability to get abortions could hinge on her replacement.

"Joe Biden is the only person with a plan to protect the health care of Floridians - especially the 650,000 Floridians who now have a pre-existing condition. Because that's what COVID is," she said. "And if we lose the ACA, we lose those protections, and most families can not make up the difference.

When asked what it would take for Democrats to win back the votes of rural white voters who might be a key to winning Florida, Abrams said she rejects the notion of picking key constituencies to target.

"I believe in broad messaging that lifts everyone," she said. "That's why in our campaign we actually increased our percentage of the white vote for the first time in a generation. And we are watching Joe Biden make the same strides, including among rural communities."

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.