Stacey Abrams on State of the Union response: 'Trump is a proxy'

Stacey Abrams on State of the Union response: 'Trump is a proxy'
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Former Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams says she is "terrified" ahead of her planned response on behalf of the Democratic Party to President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE's State of the Union address on Tuesday.

In remarks to a tech conference first reported by Axios, Abrams called Trump merely a "proxy" for powerful interests in society.

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"Trump stands as a proxy for what has gone on by many others for so long," Abrams said. "My responsibility is to not only give voice to those who don't believe they've been seen or heard, but to offer remedies ... and do that all in 10 minutes."

During her remarks to the conference, the former Georgia state lawmaker joked that hydration would be a key aspect of her speech preparation, a nod to past State of the Union responses such as Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads What the gun safety debate says about Washington Trump moves forward with F-16 sale to Taiwan opposed by China MORE's (R-Fla.), which have been marred by awkward moments.

"The first thing I'm going to do is hydrate," Abrams reportedly said. "I'm terrified. Not because I might make a mistake, but because so many want the opportunity to rebut what they've seen over the past few years.

Abrams was tapped by Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerJewish Democratic congresswoman and veteran blasts Trump's 'disloyalty' comments Schumer says Trump encouraging anti-Semites Saagar Enjeti: Biden's latest blunder; Krystal Ball: Did Schumer blow our chance to beat McConnell? MORE (D-N.Y.) earlier this week to deliver the Democrats' response to Trump's yearly address in front of Congress, which was delayed this year by the monthlong government shutdown that ended last week.

"Three weeks ago, I called Stacey Abrams and asked her to deliver the response. I was very delighted when she agreed," Schumer told reporters on Tuesday, adding: "She has led the charge for voting rights, which is at the root of just about everything else."

Abrams is considered to be a potential candidate next year for the seat currently held by Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) following her unsuccessful run for governor in 2018.

Last year's State of the Union response was delivered by Rep. Joe KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedyJoseph Kennedy mulling primary challenge to Markey in Massachusetts Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment House passes annual intelligence bill MORE III (D-Mass.), who advised Abrams to "misplace" her chapstick following the ripping he got in 2018 for how shiny his lips were during his rebuttal.