' I don't plan to run': Oprah Winfrey campaigns for Stacey Abrams. Here's what she said
Oprah Winfrey hit the campaign trail Thursday in Georgia to stump for Democrat Stacey Abrams, who could make history by becoming the nation's first black female governor.
"I was just sitting at home in California minding my own business but I could not stop thinking about what's going on down here," Winfrey said, telling the crowd they are "on the precipice of a historic election."
Winfrey's campaigning comes as speculation swirls around her own political ambitions. After she gave a powerful speech about the #MeToo movement at the Golden Globes in January, her name began popping up on lists of potential 2020 presidential candidates.
Here are some takeaways from Winfrey's time in Georgia.
1. She came to Georgia because she chose to, not because anyone paid her
In her remarks to the crowd, Winfrey emphasized her political independence. She focused on urging Georgians to vote rather than focusing on a particular party's message.
I don't want any party, and I don't want any kind of partisan influence telling me what decisions I get to make for myself," she said. "Nobody paid for me to come here, nobody even asked me to come here, I paid for myself and I approve this message."
2. She doesn't plan on running for president
Speculation surrounding a possible Winfrey presidential bid have centered around the idea that the Democratic candidate facing Trump in 2020 may need to be a celebrity in her own right.
Winfrey brushed aside those speculations when she spoke on Thursday.
"I don't want to run, OK? I'm not trying to test any waters – don't want to go in those waters. I'm here today because of Stacey Abrams," she said.
"I'm here today because of the men and because of the women who were lynched, who were humiliated, who were discriminated against, who were suppressed, who were repressed and oppressed, for the right for the equality at the polls," she said. "And I want you to know that their blood has seeped into my DNA, and I refuse to let their sacrifices be in vain. I refuse."
3. Voting is extremely important to her
Winfrey repeatedly highlighted the necessity of voting in her speech, touching on a subject that's become controversial in Georgia's gubernatorial race.
Abrams has accused her Republican opponent, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, of suppressing votes by disproportionately rejecting the registration applications of African Americans. Kemp has denied any wrongdoing.
And in the neck-and-neck race, voter turnout could make all the difference.
"For anybody here who has an ancestor who didn't have the right to vote and you are choosing not to vote, wherever you are in this state, in this country, you are dishonoring your family, you are disrespecting and disregarding their legacy, their suffering and their dreams when you don't vote," Winfrey said, adding that the right to vote is like "the crown that we all get to wear."