As Winfrey stumped for Abrams in the state, Veep Mike Pence was nearby to deliver some of his very best insults to the talk-show host billionaire on behalf of Abrams’ political opponent, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.
“I was sitting at home in California, minding my own business, but I could not stop hearing about what’s going on down here,” Winfrey said, charming the crowd that had gathered to see her.
“You are on the precipice of an historical election,” she said, assuring them, “Nobody paid for me to come here; nobody even asked me to come here. I paid for myself and I approve this message.”
Abrams is running on a campaign that includes Medicaid expansion and “common-sense gun control,” Winfrey noted.
“Democracy is not just about our individual rights and concerns and our individual protections. Rather it lives and thrives in making sure that everybody is lifted by the community,” Winfrey said.
Oprah preemptively scolded the crowd of reporters witnessing her Georgia performance against making any speculation that her appearance was in service of a 2020 run at the White House.
“I’m not here because I’m making some grandstand for myself. I don’t want to run. I’m not testing the waters,” Winfrey said.
She decided to lend her celebrity, she said, after watching how Abrams “handles” herself “in the midst of the onslaught of hate and vitriol.”
“You keep standing strong for the values that matter to me, and the values that matter to Georgians all over this state,” she added.
Among that “onslaught,” Winfrey blasted Republican ads she’d seen in her hotel room casting Abrams as too radical for the state, calling it “noise…designed to confound you with fear.”
Staunch conservative Kemp, who embraces Trump’s hard-line on immigration, brandishes a gun in his campaign ads, blasts Abrams as a tool of “socialists” and “Hollywood elites” who “want to turn Georgia into California.”
Winfrey did not mention Pence who, in appearances the same day, charged Abrams with being “bankrolled by Hollywood liberals” and derided Winfrey’s presence as well as a recent campaign appearance for Abrams by Will Ferrell.
“I’d like to remind Stacey, and Oprah, and Will Ferrell, I’m kind of a big deal, too,” simpered Pence, former TV talk show host and current Donald Trump yes-man.
“I’ve got a message for all of Stacey Abrams’ liberal Hollywood friends: This ain’t Hollywood,” Pence said.
“This is Georgia. And Georgia wants a governor that’s going to put Georgia values and Georgia first. And Brian Kemp is going to do just that.”
Interesting position, because local Republicans have, from time to time, touted a tax credit that has turned Georgia into a film-making force; the industry contributed an estimated $2.7 billion in direct spending in Georgia last year, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
And, if Kemp has his way, a so-called “religious liberty” bill will pass into law which could dry up Georgia’s “Hollywood” money.