Stacey Abrams calls Donald Trump ‘orange menace of putrescence’ as she seeks to flip the Senate for the Democrats

Nick Duffy
·4-min read

Democratic firebrand Stacey Abrams has celebrated the end of “orange menace” Donald Trump as she prepares to spearhead efforts to flip the Senate.

Abrams has earned widespread praise for her work to combat voter suppression on Georgia, with her get out the vote effort credited with helping revive the party’s fortunes in the state and yielding a wafer-thin potential victory for Joe Biden on November 3.

The campaigner, the former Democratic leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, ran for state governor in 2018 but faced a narrow defeat many have linked to a purge of voter rolls that disenfranchised hundreds of thousands in the state.

Speaking to Stephen Colbert on Monday night (November 9), Abrams joked of her work organising voter registration: “I had some time on my hands. If they would have let me have this other job, I probably would have been distracted.”

Stacey Abrams celebrates end of ‘orange menace of putrescence’

Of the election result, she said: “I said this is the first time I’ve woken up in a November without curling into the foetal position first. And the numbers got bigger and bigger and we got happier and happier.

“There is an orange menace of putrescence that will no longer be able to occupy the White House. There is an incoming president who has moral leadership and character and who actually believes in science and facts.

“We have seen the change in the face of leadership by adding Kamala Harris, a woman of colour, so that women at large and of colour can see themselves in the highest positions of the land.

“Did I mention Trump is leaving? That’s a big win. We have to get the rest of it done.”

Explaining her organising in the state, Abrams said: “When I became Democratic leader in 2010, I started building an infrastructure focused on registration, on recruiting and training staff, on making sure we were in every single county, and I advanced that through multiple cycles.

“I put together a 21-page deck and I travelled the country going to see seeing Democratic donors with, and my argument was one, we were having a democratic shift happening that we had to harness, two, we had an incoherent message for 20th c democrats that had to be refined and, three, we had to build a infrastructure that sought to win no matter who was on the ticket.”

She added: “The big difference was our ability to really maintain a consistent effort. So many groups had been doing this work for a long time but it’s feast or famine.

“We were able to to create sustainability in the infrastructure which meant we could win again and again and build up to the big victory in November.”

Georgia will be centre stage in battle for the Senate

The Democratic rising star, who is believed to have been considered as Joe Biden’s running mate before the selection of Kamala Harris, faces another big job as the battle for control of the US Senate hinges on two run-off elections scheduled to be held in Georgia on January 5.

She joked: “I had about 17 minutes [of rest] on Saturday afternoon, I’m good. Now [we have to] get back to work. We have to win two Senate races, I can’t dawdle too long.”

The Senate battles in Georgia could either cement or entirely derail President-elect Joe Biden’s policy agenda as the leader takes office.

Georgia Democratic activist Stacey Abrams has been credited with reviving the party's fortunes in the state through voter registration efforts
Georgia Democratic activist Stacey Abrams has been credited with reviving the party’s fortunes in the state through voter registration efforts (Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Crucial LGBT+ rights laws may not be able to pass if Republicans cling onto control of the chamber, unless Abrams can help Democratic Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock to victory.

Abrams said her strategy for the race is to “raise all the money we can, as fast as we can, from anywhere we can.”

LGBT+ campaigners have vowed to do their bit in the battles. Human Rights Campaign president Alphonso David said: “We need pro-equality champions like Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock to help usher in a pro-equality majority in the US Senate.

“Both Ossoff and Warnock will prioritize the passage of the Equality Act if elected, and their historic races will be our highest priority in the coming weeks and months.

“David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are anti-LGBTQ extremists who will undermine the rights and well-being for all LGBTQ people.

“We will continue mobilizing voters to help Jon Ossoff and Rev Raphael Warnock across the finish line to ensure a pro-equality Congress that will fight to pass the Equality Act and enshrine non-discrimination protections for all LGBTQ people.”