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 TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' 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 RubioWhite House makes push for paid family leave and child care reform Tom Hanks weighs in on primary: 'Anybody can become president' GOP senator blocks bill aimed at preventing Russia election meddling 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 SchumerTurf war derails bipartisan push on surprise medical bills Senate confirms Trump's nominee to lead FDA CEO group pushes Trump, Congress on paid family, medical leave 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 KennedyOvernight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments Trump escalates fight over tax on tech giants Sanders's Massachusetts state director 'moves on' from campaign 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.