Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams pushed back Tuesday on the idea that too many Democrats are vying for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination, stressing that “we’re early on” in campaign season.
Her comments come as the Democratic field hit 18 candidates. Abrams declined in the interview to shed any light on whether she plans to mount a presidential run as well.
When asked by CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on Tuesday whether the 2020 Democratic field is too crowded, Abrams replied, “No, I think that’s a false narrative.”
“We had 16 people I think who ran in 2016, I believe at this point in 1992 there were 19 candidates,” Abrams added. “The point of a primary is to winnow down the number of people who are actually going to be viewed by the public and go through the fisticuffs of debate.”
Abrams predicted that the Democratic front-runners will be more apparent once the debates and primaries begin.
“I think we’re early on,” Abrams added. “We’re going to have debates that start in June and by the time we get to the first primary, which won’t happen until February – or January, we will have a better sense of actually who’s in this to win and how long they’re going to be in the race.”
When Baldwin asked if she had any news to share regarding her 2020 plans, Abrams laughed and replied, “I appreciate the offer, but no, thank you.”
Abrams said that when approached about running in January, she set a deadline – which she did not disclose – by which to make a decision on a run “because I do want to be respectful of others who want to run and I do want to be clear about my intention. But I also have the responsibility not to run as a vanity exercise, and to make certain that this is the job I want to do.”
“But I’ve said to every candidate who’s approached me, run if you want to run,” she added.