DCCC official praises Abrams' upcoming Dem response: ‘She showed what’s possible in Georgia’

A press secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) said Tuesday that Democrat Stacey Abrams shows what's possible for the party in the state, despite her loss in Georgia's gubernatorial race against Republican Brian Kemp.

In response to a question over why Democrats chose Abrams to give Democrats' rebuttal to Trump's State of The Union address on Tuesday, Cole Leiter emphasized that she is the right pick, saying she represents both the "diversity" and "future" of the party. 

“She showed what’s possible in Georgia — we’re looking at a new swing state,” Leiter, a regional press secretary for the DCCC, told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on “Rising."

Abrams narrowly lost her Senate race in Georgia two years after Democrats hoped Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders expected to announce exploratory committee next week Bernie Sanders records announcement video ahead of possible 2020 bid Overnight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants MORE could compete in the state against Donald Trump. 

Trump won Georgia with 51 percent of the vote compared to Clinton's 46 percent, which has Democrats thinking they can compete in 2020.

Even though the State of the Union rebuttal is typically given by someone currently in public office, Leiter said this move could be seen as a strength rather than a weakness, arguing Americans are increasingly looking for leadership outside of Washington.

“More and more Americans are looking outside of Washington for leaders and I think Stacy [Abrams] reflects that and she is a great voice to be responding to President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE,” he told Hill.TV.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerNational emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration Mandatory E-Verify: The other border wall MORE (D.N.Y.) last week announced Abrams will deliver Democrats’ response. During the announcement, Schumer praised her leadership, particularly when it comes to leading the charge for voting rights, which he called “the root of just about everything else.”

Leiter said he hopes she addresses the issue of voting rights during her rebuttal, saying it would “dovetail in a big way” with Democrats’ larger message in Congress about making government more accountable.

“I hope she talks about that and I think that’s the kind of message, if we really strike unity, that’s a good place to be,” Leiter said.

Abrams, who previously served as the Democratic leader of the Georgia General Assembly, has been repeatedly touted as a rising star within the Democratic Party. Abrams is now being floated as a potential challenger to Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) in the 2020 elections.

Multiple political donors have already expressed hope that Abrams will run again, according to a report by The New York Times.

—Tess Bonn