Perdue accuses Abrams of ‘demeaning her own race’

Greg Nash

Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate David Perdue on Monday accused Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams of “demeaning her own race,” suggesting in a racist remark that she should “go back where she came from” during a campaign stop in Dunwoody, Ga.

“Did y’all see what Stacey said this weekend?” Perdue asked while speaking to a crowd. “Said Georgia’s the worst place in the country to live. Hey, she ain’t from here. Let her go back where she came from. She doesn’t like it here.”

During his remarks, the former senator also claimed that Abrams, who has lived in Georgia for decades and is a former member of the state’s House of Representatives, only wanted to be the president of the United States and “doesn’t care about the people in Georgia.”

“You know, when we saw in ’18 what she did and what she said, ‘Oh, we’re going to have a blue wave, we’re going to do it with documented and undocumented workers,’” Perdue continued.

“You know, I don’t think a lot of people in Georgia understood that when she told Black farmers, ‘You don’t need to be on the farm,’ and she told Black workers in hospitality and all this, ‘You don’t need to be,’ she is demeaning her own race when it comes to that. I am really over this. She should never be considered for material for a governor of any state, much less our state where she hates to live,” he added.

Perdue appeared to be targeting remarks that Abrams, who is Black, made during a speech over the weekend in which she criticized Georgia’s performance on maternal mortality and incarceration rates.

“I am tired of hearing about being the best state in the country to do business when we are the worst state in the country to live,” Abrams said, according to footage shared by NBC News correspondent Blayne Alexander. 

“Now, somebody’s going to try to PolitiFact me on this, so let me contextualize. When you’re No. 48 for mental health, when you’re No. 1 for maternal mortality. When you have an incarceration rate that’s on the rise, and wages that are on the decline, then you are not the No. 1 place to live in the United States, but we can get there,” she continued. 

Perdue also appeared to be referring to comments she made in 2018 in which she said she wanted to create a variety of jobs within the state.

“I want to create a lot of different jobs. Because people shouldn’t have to go into agriculture or hospitality in Georgia to make a living in Georgia. Why not create renewable energy jobs? Because, I’m going to tell y’all a secret: Climate change is real,” she said, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Abrams was asked about Perdue’s comments on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” on Monday. 

“I think that, regardless of which Republican it is, I have yet to hear them articulate a plan for the future of Georgia,” she replied. 

“I can apologize all day for my phrasing, but I will never apologize for my meaning. And that is that we mean to serve the people of Georgia and we mean to make Georgia better for everyone. And I want to lift everyone up,” she added.  

Georgia’s gubernatorial primary is Tuesday.

The Hill has reached out to Perdue’s campaign for comment. 

Tags 2022 midterms David Perdue Georgia governor's race Stacey Abrams
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