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 TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration 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 RubioRubio in Colombia to push for delivery of humanitarian aid to Venezuela On unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 On The Money: Trump declares emergency at border | Braces for legal fight | Move divides GOP | Trump signs border deal to avoid shutdown | Winners, losers from spending fight | US, China trade talks to resume next week 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 SchumerGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats National emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration 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 KennedyJoe Kennedy introduces resolution rejecting Trump’s transgender military ban Warren launches White House bid with call for 'structural change' Joe Kennedy to endorse Warren during campaign announcement 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.