David Perdue, the former Republican senator from Georgia now vying to be the state's GOP gubernatorial candidate, accused Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams of "demeaning her own race."
Abrams is a Black woman, and over the weekend, she pushed back at Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's (R) statement that Georgia is the best state for businesses. "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. "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."
On Monday, the eve of the primaries, Perdue asked a crowd of supporters, "Did you all see what Stacey said this weekend? She said that Georgia is the worst place in the country to live. Hey, she ain't from here. Let her go back to where she came from. She doesn't like it here." Abrams was born in Wisconsin and moved to Georgia while in high school.
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Perdue also brought up remarks she made in 2018, when Abrams said, "People shouldn't have to go into agriculture or hospitality 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."
He characterized Abrams' remarks as a directive to Black people, saying, "When she told Black farmers, 'You don't need to be on the farm,' and when 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 material for governor of any state, much less our state where she hates to live." The New York Times reports that after Perdue made this statement, reporters asked him about his comments, "and an aide hustled him off."
During an interview with MSNBC's Joy Reid, Abrams declined to comment on Perdue's remarks, saying instead, "Regardless of which Republican it is, I have yet to hear them articulate a plan for the future of Georgia."
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