After the 2018 race for governor in Georgia, Democrats argued the election was stolen from their candidate Stacey Abrams. When Republicans argued the same thing about President Trump in Georgia in 2020, they were ridiculed. Now the double standard on election integrity in Georgia is making headlines in the U.S. Senate.
During a committee hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz got Stacey Abrams to admit that she thinks the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election was stolen.
Abrams' testimony and Cruz's question came during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, which was given an inflammatory title by Senate Democrats - "Jim Crow 2021: The Latest Assault on the Right to Vote."
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"No one is entitled to win," Abrams told the committee. "I am a person who's a living example there's no entitlement to victory. But we are all entitled to participation. And what these laws (referring to Georgia's new voting laws) have done, in stunning and uniform fashion, is reduce entitlement to participation. They've done so by targeting behaviors that are specifically attributable to communities that voted in opposition of Republican values."
Abrams claims the state's new election integrity laws, which have actually expanded voting options, limit the voting rights of people of color and young people.
"We have seen a raft of laws that have been targeted at their behaviors. And when laws are targeted at the behaviors of the communities of color, that is not only reminiscent of the Mississippi plan and the Jim Crow laws as Dr. Anderson has so clearly played out. Those are intentionally a resurgence of voter suppression similar to Jim Crow which is why we use that language, because we cannot leave our history behind," she said.
When it came Cruz's turn to question Abrams, he brought up the fact that after two years, she still refuses to concede that she lost the race for the governor of Georgia in 2018. He reminded Abrams that she had said, "You do not concede that the process was proper," and that "they stole it from the voters of Georgia."
Then the Texas senator asked her, "Yes or no, do you still maintain the 2018 election was stolen?"
"As I've always said, I acknowledged at the very beginning, that Brian Kemp won under the rules that were in place," Abrams replied. "What I object to are rules that permitted thousands of Georgia voters to be denied their participation in this election or have their votes cast out. And so, I will continue to disagree with the system until it is fixed. We have seen marked progress made, unfortunately undone by SB 202. And I will continue to advocate for a system that permits every eligible Georgian to cast their ballot...."
That's when Cruz interrupted her.
"I ask you to please answer the question I asked, which is yes or no, do you still maintain the 2018 election was 'stolen'? That's your language," he pointed out.
"My full language was that it was stolen from the voters of Georgia," she answered. "We do not know what they would have done, because not every eligible Georgian was permitted to participate fully in the election."
Cruz also reminded her of what she told the New York Times that her loss was "fully attributable to voter suppression."
"Miss Abrams, do you know in Georgia whether the percentage of African American Georgians who are registered to vote and who turned out to vote, is it higher or lower than the national average?" Cruz asked.
"It's higher than the national average because Georgia is one of the largest states with an African American population," she replied.
"But that's not tied to the size of the population," Cruz interjected. "The percentage of Black Georgians who were registered to vote in 2018 is 64.7 percent. That compares to 60.2 percent as the national average. The percentage of Georgians who voted in 2018 in the election you claim was stolen from you, was 56.3 percent. That's higher than the national average of 48 percent."
"Let me ask you this, Miss Abrams, in 2018, do you know which demographic group in Georgia had the highest registration percentage and the highest turnout percentage," the Texas senator asked.
"I have a guess, but I will defer to you for an answer," she said.
"The answer is -- African Americans had the highest registration and the highest turnout despite your claiming that the election was stolen and there was somehow voter suppression," Cruz answered.
As CBN News has reported, ranking committee member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) objected strongly to the title of the hearing.
"The title of this hearing is offensive. As a student of history, this title diminishes the very real challenges and unfairness that minorities endured in the Jim Crow South at the hands of southern Democrats," he said.
Although congressional leaders are pushing a sweeping new federal election law, state requirements like voter IDs are at the center of the debate.
A Rasmussen Reports poll conducted last week found 62 percent of Americans feel ID requirements don't discriminate.
Earlier this month, after Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian released a statement to Delta employees slamming the Georgia law, Gov. Kemp released his own statement, accusing Bastian of spreading false information and pointed out to him what his very own company requires of all of its passengers.
The governor reminded the Delta CEO that official identification like driver's licenses is required to prove who you are, especially if you plan on boarding any commercial airline in this country.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, believes Democrats are using the issue to sow racial division and keep minority voters in their camp.
"I think it's more of the left, the Democratic Party, that is fearful they'll lose their core constituency so they have to pit them against the rest of society," Perkins said on CBN's Faith Nation.
Faith Nation is seen weeknights on the CBN News Channel.