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Stacey Abrams to Rachel Maddow: 'I did not challenge the outcome of the election' for Georgia governor in 2018. Also Stacey Abrams: Election was 'stolen.'
Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Stacey Abrams to Rachel Maddow: 'I did not challenge the outcome of the election' for Georgia governor in 2018. Also Stacey Abrams: Election was 'stolen.'

Now that Stacey Abrams has tossed her hat in the ring for another run at the Georgia governor's chair, the far-left activist and darling of the Democratic Party is making the rounds on friendly news programs to pump up her candidacy.

Indeed, Abrams appeared on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show Thursday night to face a barrage of softball questions and observations — one of which focused on Abrams' loss to Brian Kemp in 2018 for Georgia governor.

Maddow called out a "disturbing dynamic in that race, which was that" Kemp "was secretary of state at the time and was engaged in really aggressive, what appeared to be voter suppression tactics, including throwing huge numbers of Georgians off the voting rolls in a way that seemed to benefit his own candidacy in which he was on the ballot."

Continuing with her windup, Maddow added to Abrams that "when you so narrowly lost, you famously were contentious about the loss, saying that you didn't necessarily think it had been a fair fight. Stepping back now, a few years out of that, and seeing what's happened both in Georgia and around the country around the issues of fairness in elections, how do you feel about that now ... and how do you want people to understand how that dynamic affected the race the first time?"

'I did not challenge the outcome of the election'

Abrams replied to Maddow that after battling against Kemp's "egregious and aggressive voter suppression activities" and losing the race to him, "I acknowledged that I would not become the governor, that he had won the election."

Then the kicker: "I did not challenge the outcome of the election, unlike some recent folks did," Abrams added in a not-so-subtle reference to former President Donald Trump after he lost a year ago to President Joe Biden.

"What I said was that the system was not fair. And leaders challenge systems. Leaders say we can do better. And that's what I declared. I could not in good conscience say that, in order to protect my political future, I'm gonna be silent about the political present, which is that we have a system under a leader that sought to keep people from casting their ballot, that threw the ballots out, that said that voter suppression was a viable tactic for winning elections," she added.

Maddow did not push back.

Now for the rest of the story

Just about everything Abrams said following her loss to Kemp in 2018 indicated she believed she won and that the election was rigged against her.

"We had this little election back in 2018, and despite the final tally and the inauguration and the situation we find ourselves in, I do have one very affirmative statement to make: We won," Abrams said five months after her defeat.

And while Abrams tweeted in 2016 that "Trump's refusal to concede the election if he loses proves he is a petty man uninterested in our national stability," she infamously refused to concede the 2018 Georgia governor election to Kemp — and still hasn't.

Ten days after her loss, she said during a press conference, "I acknowledge that former Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be certified as the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial election." But there was a caveat coming next: Her speech was "not a speech of concession."

Abrams added, "I will not concede because the erosion of our democracy is not right."

And in April, Abrams repeated her false claims that the 2018 race was "stolen" while testifying in a Senate hearing on voting rights.

"It's been over two years, and you still refuse to concede that you lost the race for governor in Georgia in 2018," GOP U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas told her. "Yes or no, today, do you still maintain that the 2018 Georgia election was stolen?"

After a non-answer and further pressing by Cruz, Abrams said, "My full language was that it was stolen from the voters of Georgia. We do not know what they would have done because not every eligible Georgian was able to participate fully in the election."

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