POLITICS
06/03/2019 12:06 EDT

Seth Moulton: 'If This Country Wasn't Racist, Stacey Abrams Would Be Governor'

The 2020 presidential hopeful made clear why he believes Democrat Stacey Abrams lost the 2018 Georgia governor's race to Republican Brian Kemp.

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) said on Sunday that racism was the reason Democrat Stacey Abrams lost the 2018 election for Georgia governor. 

“If this country wasn’t racist, Stacey Abrams would be governor,” the Democratic 2020 presidential hopeful said during a CNN town hall in Atlanta. 

“We have a problem with racism in America today ... Because people of color are being systemically denied the most basic rights in a democracy, which is the right to vote,” Moulton said. “That’s why we need a new Voting Rights Act in America.” 

Abrams lost the governor’s race to to Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) amid allegations of voter suppression. Kemp refused to recuse himself as the top election official in his own election, which Abrams and many others criticized as a conflict of interest.

Kemp’s office suspended 53,000 voters’ registrations because their names didn’t exactly match a state record. Almost 70% of the people on the list were black.

“I’m a good lawyer, and I understand that the law of the land said that Brian Kemp became the governor that day. And I acknowledge that,” Abrams said in an April interview on “The View.”

“But you can’t trick me into saying it was right,” she continued. “And you can’t shame me into saying what happened should’ve happened because in the state of Georgia black people faced hours long lines of up to four hours waiting to cast their ballots.”

Moulton said later during the town hall that racism is “a leadership issue” and pivoted his focus to President Donald Trump.

“Let’s not ignore the fact that when the man in the Oval Office is a racist — and yes, I did just say that, I don’t think that’s inappropriate — it’s going to affect everyone in this country,” Moulton said. He promised that if he becomes president, there will not be “two sets of laws: one for black, one for white; one for rich, one for poor ― but that everyone in America is subject to the same laws.”

“The president talks about law and order,” Moulton added. “That’s real law and order.”