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Fact check: Fabricated Abrams quote on farmers resurfaces ahead of Georgia runoff

With just weeks until the state’s Jan. 5 Senate runoff election, posts on social media say that voting rights activist and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said, “We don’t need farmers when we have grocery stores.” The quote is fabricated.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

Examples of posts making this claim can be found here , here, here and here . The recent posts, misspelling Abrams’ name as “Stacy”, were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat misinformation.

Seth Bringman, a spokesman for Abrams, told Reuters: “Rather than responding to a made-up quote, we will take this opportunity to encourage Georgians to make a plan to vote early for the January 5 Senate runoffs.”

The quote has been fact-checked by conservative outlet the Washington Examiner (here), and PolitiFact in 2019 (here). The quote's resurfacing in December 2020 in a different format is likely due to Abrams platform speaking out in advance of Georgia's senate runoff elections on Jan. 5.

A similar quote has been misattributed to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (here).

On Oct. 16, 2018, at stop in Scottsboro, Georgia during her statewide bus tour, Abrams said, “I want to create a lot of different jobs. Because people shouldn't have to go into agriculture or hospitality in Georgia to make a living in Georgia. Why not create renewable energy jobs? Because, I'm going to tell y'all a secret: Climate change is real” (here).

That day, Abrams clarified her words in a tweet (here), saying, “To be clear, my point is that we must continue to diversify our economy and raise wages across the board. Agriculture and hospitality are vital sectors of our economy in Georgia, but we can do more and lead in new sectors as well.”

As reported here by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, winning Georgia’s agricultural heartland was crucial to Abrams’ challenger, then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

Though Abrams did call for diversification of her state’s economy and the creation of jobs outside of agriculture, she did not say, “We don’t need farmers when we have grocery stores.”

VERDICT

False. Stacey Abrams did not say “We don’t need farmers when we have grocery stores.”

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .

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