Failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams on Monday declared she would be "complicit" if she said the electoral system in the United States is "fair" while responding to criticism of her continued questioning of her election's results.
Appearing on CBS This Morning to discuss the national launch of her voting rights group Fair Fight 2020, Abrams responded to Tony Dokoupil's assessment of elections being "rigged," comparing her rhetoric to President Donald Trump.
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"It's a frightening word," he said. "Does it contribute to a possible scenario where people on either side of an election outcome don't accept the results?"
"There's a lot that's been made of the fact that I did not concede my election," she said. "But I never denied the legal sufficiency of that election, and that's the difference between me and Trump. He refuses to acknowledge the legal sufficiency or threatens not to, but my point is that the laws are wrong. We have to fix those laws because as long as we have eligible American citizens who cannot cast a ballot, then the game is rigged."
Abrams lost to Republican Brian Kemp in Georgia by nearly 55,000 votes, but she has refused to cast legitimacy on his win, saying he systematically suppressed the vote as Georgia's secretary of state through so-called "purges" of the voter rolls. She also blamed rural precinct closings and long lines on his office, although fact-checks have found her criticisms don't hold water.
Prominent Democrats like Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Eric Holder, Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D., Texas), and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) have repeated Abrams's claim that Kemp stole the race from her.
"Concession means to say that the process was fair," Abrams said, claiming she received 50,000 phone calls from people who were denied the right to vote in Georgia. "I'm complicit if I say that system is fair … I am not claiming to be the governor of Georgia, despite what Breitbart and others like to say."
"And your opponent was in charge of the [process]," said host Gayle King.
"My opponent was in charge of the process," Abrams said. "Because there are more people in the water that doesn't mean there are fewer sharks. You can have higher turnout, but that doesn't mean that voter suppression isn't real."
King, who is a Democratic donor, declared the race "marred by widespread reports of irregularities" when she introduced Abrams to the table.
"How can we make people understand why this is so important?" King asked.
Abrams said voter suppression was now more "insidious" than it was in the 1960s, saying it wasn't as blatant as Jim Crow laws barring African Americans from voting. She also said voter fraud was a "myth" while voter suppression is "real," in response to a question about Voter ID laws meant to protect the process.
Abrams recently announced she wouldn't run for president in 2020, but she said she is open to being the running mate for the eventual Democratic nominee.