Abrams answers questions about campus carry, accusations from Kemp campaign, working with Republicans

Matthew Enfinger

Following the early voter rally in the Carroll Building Tuesday night, Stacey Abrams met with reporters outside of her tour bus to answer questions.

Topics she discussed included:

  • Possibly being Georgia’s first African-American governor

  • Her approach to campus carry

  • Responses to comments made by Brian Kemp’s campaign

  • Working with Republicans

Q: What will it mean to you to be the first African-American governor of Georgia?

Abrams: “As the first African-American governor of Georgia and the first black woman to be governor in the history of the United States, it’s a signal that the face of leadership [is] changing and expanding in our country, and that means more people will see that they have the power to lead their own lives, they can thrive, and that we’re knocking down more and more barriers to their access to power.”

Q: One of the big topics on our campus is campus carry. What are your thoughts and what would be your approach on it if you are elected governor?

Abrams: “I believe that every person who is a responsible gun owner, who believes in the Second Amendment, understands that safety begins with the owner of that weapon, and that is why I do not believe there should be guns on our college campuses.

I believe that gun safety is completely in line with the Second Amendment. As someone who knows how to shoot a shotgun, I was taught by my great grandmother, I’ve shot shotguns, I’ve fired an AR-15, and I’ll tell you, there is no reason for assault weapons in the state of Georgia.

I believe there should be universal background checks, that we need a three-day waiting period because there’s no such thing as emergency deer hunting. I know that domestic abusers and those that stalk should not have access to weapons.

We need mental health support for those who are challenged and troubled, and we need to have comprehensive gun safety legislation in the state of Georgia. That is how we protect our campuses, but as governor, I will do my best to repeal campus carry in the state of Georgia.”

Q: The Kemp campaign likes to say things about illegal aliens, or as some might say, undocumented aliens, in relation to you, saying that you want to expand the HOPE scholarship to them or even seek to let them vote in the election. Are either of these things true?

Abrams: “My opponent is attempting to distract from his failure to do his job by saying I said something I didn’t say. He’s taking something I said completely out of context. I believe in the right for legal citizens to cast a vote at the ballot. The problem is, legal citizens aren’t being allowed to cast a ballot under his leadership.

I do believe that students who graduate from our high schools should be able to go to our colleges. The federal Constitution says that they’re allowed to go to our high schools. I’m simply saying they should be allowed to go to our colleges. That’s good for Georgia and that’s good for America.”

Q: You said you wanted to expand Medicaid on day one and want to repeal campus carry. How do you plan to achieve that with a state assembly that’s most likely going to be Republican?

Abrams: “I’ve worked for Republicans for the last 10 years as state legislator and then for the last seven years as democratic leader. Actually, I was in the legislature 12 years. I know that Republicans share my belief to expand Medicaid, because most of the hospitals that are shutting down are in their regions.

They’ve known, however, that Gov. Deal refused to expand it, and they’ve said they’ve kept silent. I’ve talked to a lot of them, and I know we can expand Medicaid, and when it comes to repealing campus carry, if you look at the vote, it was a very close vote when it passed, and I believe that if we bring it back up, enough folks are going to be elected this year to join those who are already in the legislator, that we can get that done as well.”

Matthew Enfinger, The George-Anne Editor-in-Chief, gaeditor@georgiasouthern.edu