Stacey Abrams Says ‘Race Plays a Part’ in Hype for Beto Over Herself and Andrew Gillum


Former Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate and potential 2020 presidential contender Stacey Abrams would not disparage Beto O’Rourke, but said that she does believe “race plays a part” in the disparity of attention between O’Rourke and similarly-situated politicians like herself and Andrew Gillum.

On Wednesday’s edition of Andrea Mitchell Reports, host Andrea Mitchell asked Abrams about the fact that she, O’Rourke, and Gillum all narrowly lost tightly-contested statewide races in 2018, but it was O’Rourke who created a whirlwind of publicity around his presidential bid. Both Gillum and Abrams came closer to victory than O’Rourke did in 2018, Mitchell noted.

Why Beto O’Rourke and not Andrew Gillum, and not Stacey Abrams, as the darling of the media?” Mitchell asked.

“I don’t think that success is zero sum, so I don’t want to disparage or take away from the reaction and the legitimate response people had to his campaign,” Abrams said, “But I do want to call the question.”

“There is no difference — there is no distinction with a difference between what he accomplished and what Andrew and I accomplished,” she continued. “I would challenge people to consider why we were not lifted up in the same way.”

“I think race plays a part,” Abrams said. “I think region plays a part. I also think phenotype plays a part. My responsibility is to investigate running for president because I want people to understand I may not look like the typical candidate, but that does not diminish my responsibility to run for the job. That would be true for Andrew if he was interested.”

Other commentators have noted a double-standard in coverage of O’Rourke’s presidential candidacy, but the phenomenon was also evident following those midterm races.

Watch the clip above, via MSNBC.

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