2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said Sunday that “we are living through a full-fledged crisis in our democracy” and “racist and white supremacist views are lifted up” in the White House.
“This is a time, my friends, when fundamental rights, civic virtue, freedom of the press, the rule of law, truth, facts and reason are under assault,” said Clinton, who made the remarks in Selma, Alabama, as she accepted an award at an event marking the 54th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday.” “And make no mistake, we are living through a full-fledged crisis in our democracy.”
Clinton went on to say that while there may not be “tanks in the streets,” “what’s happening goes to the heart of who we are as a nation.”
“To anyone who has ever wondered what you would have done during those defining moments that we read about in history books – whether you would have risked arrest to demand votes for women or bled on the Edmund Pettus bridge to demand voting rights for all – the answer is what you are doing now could be as important as anything that anyone has done before,” she said.
Clinton, who did not directly mention President Donald Trump in her remarks, took aim at the administration of her formal rival, suggesting his White House espouses racist views.
“When racist and white supremacist views are lifted up in the media and the White House, when hard-fought-for civil rights are being stripped back, when the single most important fight of our time, which makes it possible to fight every other fight and must be, as Frederick Douglass would say, our North Star – the fight to protect our vote – is not gathering the momentum and the energy and the passion it deserves, we have a lot of work to do, don’t we?” she said.
Later in her speech, Clinton, in an effort to highlight what she described as the severity of voter suppression, spoke about the state of Georgia.
She said former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who lost her election last year by a close margin, “should be governor, leading that state right now.” She also said that Abrams, who alleged voter suppression in the wake of her defeat, “sounded the alarm as a legislator back in 2014 that her state was systematically suppressing the right to vote.”
To combat the issue, Clinton said, Abrams “rolled up her sleeves and she registered about 300,000 black voters.”
Clinton also seemed to question why, according to her, there were fewer registered voters in Georgia during the 2016 election than there had been during the 2012 presidential election.
“The state had been growing. Jobs and investment and people had been coming, but somehow there were fewer voters,” she said.
CNN’s Daniella Diaz and Brandon Knapp contributed to this report.