THE VERDICT IS IN: Stacey Abrams’ Democratic Response Won the Night

Last night, former Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams gave the Democratic response to Donald Trump’s State of the Union address. And unlike Trump, who again laid out the most divisive agenda in modern history, Stacey delivered a clear vision of progress and prosperity for all Americans, not just those at the top. Her message of unity, inclusion, and opportunity drew praise from Democrats, Republicans and independent commentators alike.

CNN’s John King: “Back to the Stacey Abrams speech. That’s a very difficult job. That’s the best response, Democrat or Republican, I can remember in some years. It’s a very difficult job. It’s a thankless job. But also, you learn about the differences between the two parties. She talked about voting rights, she talked about climate change, and she talked about guns. We did not hear any of those subjects from the President of the United States.

Democratic Strategist Antjuan Seawright: “As I said yesterday, Stacey Abrams is the new face of the Democratic Party. She speaks for the party, hence that’s why she was chosen. And, everything she said in 5 minutes was the issues that most of Americans, above 50 percent in every poll I’ve seen, agree with. Whether it is immigration, whether it is education, whether it is voting rights, more than half of the country, Democrat or Republican, agree on those issues. And she laid it out plain and simple. She laid it out with emotion, and she laid her qualifications out on why she should be the person giving that message.”

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell: “A very effective speaker. And, also denouncing voter fraud, she says that is real and racism. This was a strong speech.”

Former Republican Senator Rick Santorum: “She has greats stories, she wove them in. She’s very, very good and she is a great communicator for the Democratic side.”

Fox News’ Chris Wallace: “This was a pretty good one. And yes, while the macro numbers are pretty good, there are a lot of Americans who are struggling, and I thought she seemed to get more to what people’s lives are like in the reality. Also, she talked about some subjects like education, which the President didn’t talk about at all, or climate change, which the President didn’t talk about at all.”

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow: “You saw the legitimate passion in Stacey Abrams there when she got to that portion of her speech talking about voting rights and access to the polls. She is somebody who is seen as holding an, I think, unusual position in Democratic leadership right now, in that she is sort of seen as the future of the party.”

ABC’s Cecilia Vega: “Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams, the first AfricanAmerican woman to deliver a State of the Union rebuttal, laid blame squarely at the president’s feet without ever mentioning him by name.”

CNN’s Nia Malika Henderson: “Look at what happened in 2018: a lot of women ushered into congress, a lot of women of color as well. And then, so  Stacey Abrams representing that, I thought her performance was fantastic. A lot of times those speeches are panned because they have kind of an airless quality to them. But her speech was probably the best we’ve seen of the responses. It was very well written, it was very well delivered.”

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews: “Stacey was a great departure from the anger and the acidity in politics”