Moulton: Abrams would be governor of Georgia if America ‘wasn't racist'

Rep. calls for 'new Voting Rights Act'

By Kate Sullivan, CNN

Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton said Sunday Democrat Stacey Abrams should be governor of Georgia, and said she would be if the US "wasn't racist."

"We have a problem with racism in America today. If this country wasn't racist, Stacey Abrams would be governor," the Democratic presidential candidate said at a CNN town hall in Atlanta.

In response to a question about dismantling systemic racism in America, he called for a "new Voting Rights Act" and said "people of color are being systemically denied the most basic right in a democracy, which is the right to vote."

Abrams, who would have been the first African American woman ever elected governor, narrowly lost her gubernatorial bid in Georgia last year. She refused to concede the race amid significant controversy over the way the election was conducted -- a process overseen by her opponent, now-Gov. Brian Kemp, who was Georgia's secretary of state at the time.

Abrams eventually acknowledged defeat but has said she believes it "was a stolen election."

Moulton said racism in America "is a leadership issue." He said, "Let's not ignore the fact that when the man in the Oval Office is a racist — and yes, I did just say that, I don't think that's inappropriate — it's going to affect everyone in this country."

Moulton called for criminal justice reforms to combat racism, including the legalization of marijuana "across this country." He added, "if you're in prison for that, you're out and we expunge those records."

"I smoked weed when I was younger. I didn't get caught, but if I had, I would've been fine. Because I'm a white guy," he said, comparing his hypothetical situation to one involving a man in Louisiana who Moulton said was sentenced to life in prison last year for selling $20 of marijuana.

He said if he became President, he would ensure that there are "not two sets of laws -- one for black, one for white; one for rich, one for poor -- but that everyone in America is subject to the same laws."

"The President talks about law and order - that's real law and order," Moulton said.

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