A Missouri Democrat sharply criticized comments made by Stacey Abrams and others who have indicated interest in serving as vice president on a ticket headed by former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE (D) this fall.
On a podcast Tuesday, Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) said it was “offensive” to him to see Democrats such as Abrams, a former Georgia state senator who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2018, vying publicly for the vice presidential nomination.
“I’ll tell you what is somewhat offensive to me, is when you are marketing yourself as a VP candidate,” Clay told the Tangazo! podcast in remarks first reported by right-wing news blog The Daily Caller.
“For you to be out there marketing and putting on a PR campaign that way, I think it’s inappropriate,” he added.
Clay also said during the podcast that those who had conceded their own personal races, whether they be former 2020 primary rivals such as Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) or those in a statewide race such as Abrams’s, had no room to make demands of the party’s nominee.
“Here’s what I do know — and it’s like all of the other presidential candidates, Democratic presidential primary candidates and their supporters, OK, we went through a process, Bernie Sanders has conceded, and this applies to Stacey [Abrams], too,” Clay said.
“You know, at the race track, you cannot show up at the winner’s window with loser’s tickets. You haven’t won anything,” he continued. “You can’t show up at the winner’s window with loser’s tickets and demand anything.”
Abrams has taken the rare step of touting her strengths as a potential VP in an interview with The Atlantic last week, and has made other public comments in support of such a political partnership.
“We have to win the election. And I would point out that I ran the most successful campaign to engage the communities we need to build the broadest coalition necessary in 2020, because what we are going to see on the ground is that this is going to be a campaign unlike anything that’s been run before,” she told the magazine on Friday.
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“If you look at what we were able to accomplish in Georgia, the growth of the numbers and the composition of the voters, I would put my capacity to win an election as the VP running mate alongside anyone’s,” she added.
A spokesperson for Abrams denied, however, that the comments or her previous repeated remarks in support of such a ticket constituted “lobbying” for the position.
“As the national leader on voting rights and the Census, Leader Abrams conducts local and national interviews encouraging Americans to vote and be counted. When questions about her political future or willingness to serve arise, she answers those questions honestly, as she has done her entire life,” the spokesperson said.
“She values honesty and encourages all women and girls – particularly women and girls of color – to speak up when asked if they are qualified to lead. Leader Abrams has the deepest respect for Congressman Clay, but to cast honest answers to repeated questions as ‘lobbying’ misreads what has transpired,” the spokesperson added.
Updated at 5:40 p.m. with remarks from an Abrams spokesperson.