'A better America'

Stacey Abrams uses historic SOTU rebuttal to rebuke Trump and elevate the ‘uncommon grace of community’

Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams delivers the Democratic response to the U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union address, on February 5, 2019. (REUTERS)

Stacey Abrams made history on Tuesday night, becoming the first black woman to give the official Democratic rebuttal to a State of the Union address.

Speaking for around 10 minutes following President Donald Trump’s speech to the House, the Georgia State House Minority Leader and former gubernatorial candidate spoke about the importance of fighting voter repression, efforts in her home state to overhaul the criminal justice system, and strongly criticized the federal government shutdown — calling it a “stunt” by Trump.

“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,” Abrams said.

The partial shutdown was the longest in U.S. history, spanning 35 days.

Also weighing in on Republican positions on immigration, health care and the economy, Abrams signposted all the hot-button issues likely to shape the 2020 election.

Challenging the Republicans to address the vexed issue of gun control, Abrams urged reform, saying “This White House responds timidly while first-graders practice active-shooter drills.”

Abrams also brought a personal touch to her speech, invoking her family history and values, and the ‘uncommon grace of community,’ which sees friends and neighbors pulling together for a better nation, and making a plea for bipartisanship to solve the nation’s crises.

“We may come from different sides of the political aisle; but, our joint commitment to the ideals of this nation cannot be negotiable,” she said.

Watch Stacey Abrams deliver the rebuttal to the 2019 State of the Union below:

Read more at The Washington Post and the full text of Abram’s response here.

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