Stacey Abrams called it a “disgrace” and “a stunt” that the president of the United States imperiled the livelihood of over 800,000 workers during the longest government shutdown in history, just so that he could fund his border wall.
That was just one of the major criticisms leveled at Donald Trump by former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Abrams, the first Black woman to run for Georgia’s top job and the first to ever deliver the formal State of the Union response for the Democratic Party.
Abrams, who was also the first African American leader of the Georgia statehouse, blasted the 45th president for holding the government workers’ jobs hostage between December and January in is failed attempt to force Congress to pay for his $5 billion wall along the USA-Mexico border.
“Just a few weeks ago, I joined volunteers to distribute meals to furloughed federal workers. They waited in line for a box of food and a sliver of hope since they hadn’t received a paycheck in weeks. Making their livelihoods a pawn for political games is a disgrace,” Abrams said.
“The shutdown was a stunt engineered by the President of the United States, one that defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people but our values,” she added.
Abrams also blasted the 45th president over education, inadequate health care, infringing on abortion rights and the ever-shrinking middle class. Her broad understanding of the issues is part of the reason why she was chosen to give this milestone speech.
“Stacey Abrams offers a welcome, stark contrast to President Trump’s politics of division and lack of leadership as American families are still feeling the impacts of his self-imposed shutdown,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement, according to Fox News, when he picked Abrams last month to deliver the Democrats’ rebuttal.
“Stacey Abrams is a present and future leader in this country. She is a dynamic, moral leader. She delivered results on the issues that matter most to Americans, and she tirelessly pursues fairness and justice for everyone in her state.”
Abrams, an attorney who also penned award-winning novels, is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party. She is being groomed to run for the Senate in 2020.
The president made many other controversial and dubious statements during his SOTU address, including his self-promoting statement saying his election averted a disastrous war with North Korea.
“If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea,” Trump said during the speech. “Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong Un is a good one.”
Trump did, however, acknowledge the historic progress made by women in the American workforce and in Congress — the latter which boasts a record number of females. That statement elicited a standing ovation from Democratic women and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, surprising Trump.