By Greg Bluestein – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Patricia Murphy – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
(CNT) City News Talk #atlanta-ga
Pitched Democrats in crucial Gwinnett County
Gwinnett County – Vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris brought the Democratic presidential campaign back to Georgia Sunday in a final bid to capture the increasingly battleground state.
Harris pumped up Democrats at an outdoor drive-in rally in Gwinnett County just hours before President Donald Trump was scheduled to appear in Rome, with Trump’s singular goal to keep Georgia red on Tuesday.
Trump won Georgia by 5 points in 2016, but for months has struggled to break away from Joe Biden in polls of Georgia voters.
As honking car horns blared, Harris addressed a crowd of hundreds lining the parking lot at the Infinite Energy Center, smack in the middle of Gwinnett, a once-reliably Republican stronghold that’s is now a linchpin in Biden’s strategy to win the state.
“I came back to Georgia because I wanted to just remind everybody that you all are going to decide who is going to be the next president of the United States,” she said to honking horns.
“This is not the time to let up,” Harris added. “This is the time to put our feet on the pedal.”
It’s Harris’ second visit to Georgia in eight days, with this trip aimed at voters in the crucial Atlanta suburbs. Gwinnett flipped blue in 2016 for the first time since Jimmy Carter’s presidency, and Democrats have only consolidated support since then.
She delivered her stump speech on the four crises threatening the nation, peppering her remarks with the contrasts between the Democratic ticket and President Donald Trump. She singled out Trump’s debate remarks urging the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”
“Don’t forget when he was running for office and thinking about his political career, he had the gall to question the legitimacy of America’s first Black president,” she said.
She told the crowd – a mix of Black, white, Hispanic and Asian voters in one of Georgia’s most diverse counties – they must vote to “honor the ancestors.”
“And Georgia, for you, this is a particular point of pride,” she said, invoking the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis. “He told us to get in good trouble.”
Harris also thanked Stacey Abrams, who came within about 55,000 votes of winning the 2018 governor’s race, and who has since built a broad voting rights organization.
Along with Abrams, Harris was joined by a string of Georgia Democrats on Tuesday’s ballot, including Rep. Lucy McBath, Rep. Hank Johnson, 7th district nominee Carolyn Bourdeaux, and Senate nominee Jon Ossoff, who ripped Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue from the stage after Perdue canceled a Sunday debate against Ossoff after Trump announced his plans to be in Rome at the same time.
“Senator Perdue is not just a crook – he’s a coward,” said Ossoff. “Imagine being a sitting United States Senator too afraid to face your opponent in open debate?”
U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson joked that Harris “just can’t get enough of our beautiful, soon-to-be blue state.” And Abrams urged Democrats to stay clear headed ahead of Election Day.
With just two days until Election Day, Harris left the state with the Democrats’ closing message.
“Years from now, our children, our grandchildren and others, they will look in our eyes – each one of us – and they will ask us, ‘Where were you in that moment?’ And what we will tell them is so much more than just how we felt. We will tell them what we did.”