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Stacey Abrams thanks Biden, Harris for Georgia speeches she skipped

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Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams issued a statement Tuesday praising President Biden and Vice President Harris for their speech in Georgia about federal voting rights legislation.

Abrams, who did not attend the speech because of a “scheduling conflict,” also mentioned Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., in her statement, which suggested support for changing the rules of the Senate to allow Democrat-backed election bills to pass with a simple majority. It is not clear that either Manchin or Sinema will support the change, which would eliminate the filibuster and its 60-vote threshold, at least in the case of the election bills.

“I thank @POTUS and @VP for returning to Georgia to continue their steadfast advocacy for passage of federal legislation to protect the freedom to vote. They made clear again today that they are committed to restoring the Senate to safeguard our democracy,” Abrams said in a Twitter thread.

Stacey Abrams speaks onstage during the 2021 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award Gala on December 9, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights)

Stacey Abrams speaks onstage during the 2021 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award Gala on December 9, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights)

“While I was not able to attend today’s event, the President and I connected by phone this morning. We reaffirmed our shared commitment to the American project of freedom and democracy, as he did in his remarks today here in Georgia,” she also tweeted.

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Abrams went on to stress her support for the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, two Democratic-led pieces of legislation aimed at overhauling the U.S. election system.

Biden on Tuesday said passing such legislation is “vital to democracy,” but Republicans have opposed the bills because they contend that they are intended to favor Democrats and deprive states of their constitutional right to determine how they run their elections.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to reporters as he departs the White House to travel to Georgia, in Washington, U.S., January 11, 2022.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to reporters as he departs the White House to travel to Georgia, in Washington, U.S., January 11, 2022. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

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In an apparent appeal to Manchin, Abrams said he “understands better than many how vital our elections are to service of our highest ideals.” She praised his “continued engagement on how to guarantee vibrant, full debate on these bills.” 

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Regarding Sinema, Abrams wrote: “Likewise, as an original sponsor of voting rights legislation, I am grateful to Senator Sinema as she seeks to protect the institution she serves and the constituents put at risk by state legislators unwilling to defend their access to the ballot.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speaks to reporters outside of his office on Capitol Hill on October 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speaks to reporters outside of his office on Capitol Hill on October 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Abrams, who is running again to be the governor of Georgia in 2022, raised eyebrows when she decided not to attend the event with Biden and Harris over a “scheduling conflict.”

On a call with reporters Tuesday, Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel said, “It is very interesting that Stacey Abrams has a conflict and can’t join him. I think we all know what that conflict is. It is Joe Biden’s terrible poll numbers.”

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Fox News Digital reached out to Abrams’ organization to inquire about the reason for her scheduling conflict but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Fox News’ Mike Lee contributed to this report.

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