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 TrumpWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far 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 RubioOvernight Energy: Critics pile on Trump plan to roll back major environmental law | Pick for Interior No. 2 official confirmed | JPMorgan Chase to stop loans for fossil fuel drilling in the Arctic MacGregor confirmed as Interior deputy chief GOP casts Sanders as 2020 boogeyman 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 SchumerOvernight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response | Top official warns virus appears inevitable in US | Democrats block two Senate abortion bills Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response Democrats block two Senate abortion bills 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 KennedyKennedy, Markey neck-and-neck in Massachusetts primary: poll Budowsky: Bloomberg-Obama or Klobuchar-Kennedy? Kennedy, Markey spar over experience in first Senate primary debate 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.