Stacey Abrams, who has made an expansion of voting her main concern after losing a run for Georgia governorship in 2018, didn’t attend President Joe Biden’s speech on the topic in Atlanta on Tuesday.
Abrams blamed a scheduling conflict for her inability to attend Biden’s speech in her own hometown, but hasn’t specifically said what was so important she couldn’t make time for the president of the United States, a member of her own party, who was in her backyard talking about the very thing she has built her legacy on.
Most media outlets don’t appear concerned or the least bit interested in what Abrams was doing instead of attending Biden’s speech, which was also snubbed by several voting rights groups in the state. They merely reported the “scheduling conflict” and moved on.
But not everyone is accepting that response.
Responding to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution story where Abrams aides denied she bypassed the event because she wasn’t given a speaking slot, Politico reporter Alex Thompson said his outlet “asked several times yesterday what her scheduling conflict was and they haven’t said.”
We asked several times yesterday what her scheduling conflict was and they haven’t said https://t.co/DmT90lBHbZ
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) January 13, 2022
“If the president of your party goes to your state for a big event on your signature issue, it’s news that you didn’t attend and didn’t really explain why,” Thompson added.
Abrams spokesman Seth Bringman told the AJC on Wednesday that Abrams had a private “commitment she could not break,” without explaining further. Bringman reportedly added that by the times Abrams received an invitation to attend the event, her plans were set and she apparently couldn’t change them.
Abrams released a statement after Biden spoke saying: “I look forward to continuing to work with them to make progress for Georgians.”
Biden also insisted the two “have a great relationship,” when asked about Abrams’ absence.
It is entirely possible that Abrams had an important doctor’s appointment or family issue, but her silence has led at least some to question where she actually was.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, Abrams also welcomed Biden to Georgia ahead of his speech, writing: “The fight for voting rights takes persistence. As MLK exhorted, ‘The clock of destiny is ticking out. We must act now before it is too late.’”
“Thank you, @POTUS, for refusing to relent until the work is finished,” she added. “Welcome back to Georgia where we get good done.”
Abrams wasn’t the only one to miss Biden’s speech, as several prominent voting rights groups also appeared to snub the president.
“However, some major voting rights groups have expressed opposition to Biden’s visit and are making a point of not attending the event. They are even calling for the president to remain in Washington, D.C., unless he has a plan to reform the Senate filibuster in order to pass voting rights legislation,” Newsweek reported. “Among the groups planning to skip the event are the Asian American Advocacy Fund, Black Voters Matter, GALEO Impact Fund Inc. and New Georgia Project Action Fund.”
“We don’t need even more photo ops,” Cliff Albright, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, told CNN. “We need action, and that action is in the form of the John Lewis Voting Rights [Advancement] Act as well as the Freedom to Vote Act, and we need that immediately.”