Stacey Abrams’ campaign effectively blamed “opponents” and cited Black History Month to excuse the Georgia gubernatorial candidate under backlash over a maskless photo.
Abrams ignited criticism over her hypocrisy after posing maskless with a group of masked students at Glennwood Elementary School outside of Atlanta. Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp was among the many who called the Democrat out on social media as the photo went viral.
“Stacey Abrams wants state government mask mandates for Georgians and their children,” Kemp tweeted. “But it looks like they wouldn’t apply when she’s attending a photo op.”
Stacey Abrams wants state government mask mandates for Georgians and their children.
But it looks like they wouldn’t apply when she’s attending a photo op. https://t.co/A7H8U6eXKS
— Brian Kemp (@BrianKempGA) February 6, 2022
Former Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), also denounced the move in a statement on Sunday, saying, “Where is Stacey’s mask? We all know Stacey Abrams’ hypocrisy knows no bounds.”
Not surprisingly, Abrams took no ownership over the hypocrisy on display in the photo and her campaign blasted others in a statement posted to social media, and later made things worse with a follow-up.
“It is shameful that our opponents are using a Black History Month reading event for Georgia children as the impetus for a false political attack, and it is pitiful and predictable that our opponents continue to look for opportunities to distract from their failed records when it comes to protecting the public health during the pandemic,” Abrams said in a statement posted to social media.
Our opponents took a brief break from licking Trump’s boots this weekend to issue baseless attacks, and it’s more of their typical dishonest, wannabe tough guy fodder to distract from their failures. See the @staceyabrams campaign response here 👇 pic.twitter.com/zOoTvkKKQg
— Lauren Groh-Wargo (@gwlauren) February 6, 2022
The statement even took a shot at \Perdue and Kemp over their track records.
“One of Stacey’s opponents downplayed the virus while trading stock to profit off the pandemic after his private coronavirus briefings as a Senator,” the statement said, referring to Perdue having reportedly traded stocks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Another of her opponents attacked mayors seeking to protect their citizens and has failed to expand access to Medicaid even as rural hospitals close,” Abrams’ camp added, referring to Kemp’s squabble with former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
“This pathetic, transparent and silly attack is beneath anyone who claims he wants to lead Georgia,” the statement concluded.
Pressed by Fox News on whether Abrams regretted not wearing a mask in the photo, the response was: “We will let our statement speak for itself.”
Before the dust even settled on the statement, the Abrams camp seemed to make things worse when campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo followed up with another declaration.
“Stacey trusts science and supports masking in schools as it’s the current CDC recommendation. She wore a mask to the event, and removed it at the podium so she could be heard by students watching remotely and for photos, but only with folks who were masked,” she tweeted.
She wanted to be heard better. Imagine being a kid who hasn’t been heard well in two years. https://t.co/PVo3ahT2QD
— Rory Cooper (@rorycooper) February 6, 2022
The follow-up set off a fresh round of condemnation:
This just highlights how Abrams was using the kids and teacher as props for her campaign photo. She took her mask off so her face could be seen, while everyone else kept theirs on https://t.co/88gn5hg0nj
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) February 7, 2022
But teachers need to wear masks, right? But Stacey can take hers off so they can hear? Got it. Keep going, you are doing great!!
— Chad (@ChaddyKa) February 7, 2022
— Abigail Marone 🇺🇸 (@abigailmarone) February 7, 2022
It would be so much better if you just said, she made a terrible lapse in judgment because she believes in the CDC recommendations. You’re making it worse defending it. Parents are already so pissed. This is making it worse.
— angie welch (@angand4) February 7, 2022
Run on this. Run on claiming that “science” requires keeping toddlers in masks when kids are the least at risk. Let’s see how the pro child abuse party does in the midterms. https://t.co/4oFJWgOrrY
— Noah Pollak (@NoahPollak) February 6, 2022
So students can’t hear each other or their teacher when wearing masks?
— Abigail Marone 🇺🇸 (@abigailmarone) February 7, 2022
This photo is catastrophic for Abrams, and her party, and you know it.
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) February 6, 2022
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