ATLANTA — Oprah Winfrey campaigned Thursday afternoon for Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams in Atlanta. You can watch the entire rally here:
In a rousing speech in the Republican-leaning suburbs of Atlanta, Winfrey urged voters to make history by backing Abrams in next week's election. Abrams is vying to become the country's first black female governor.
Winfrey called Abrams a "changemaker" who represents the values of all Georgians.
"I am here today because Stacey Abrams cares about the things that matter," she said to a mostly female audience north of downtown Atlanta.
Winfrey is part of a series of high-profile figures marking the final days of Abrams' tight race with Republican Brian Kemp.
Former President Barack Obama will campaign for Abrams in Atlanta on Friday evening, while President Donald Trump is slated to campaign for Kemp in Macon on Sunday. Abrams is also going to be in Macon for a rally Friday morning.
Winfrey, who rarely makes political endorsements, drew cheers when she said she's a registered independent who was not in Georgia at anyone's request.
"I paid to come here myself, and I approved this message," Winfrey said, explaining that she tracked down Abrams' cellphone number and called her to say she wanted to offer assistance in the final days of the campaign.
She added a note to the throng of media gathered for the event, urging against any reboot of recent speculation that she might run for president in 2020.
"I'm not here because I'm making some grandstand for myself. I don't want to run. I'm not testing the waters," she said.
Winfrey blasted attacks on Abrams that she says she saw in her hotel room — Republican ads casts Abrams as "too extreme" and "radical" for Georgia — as "noise" that is "designed to confound you with fear."
Touting the Democratic nominee's pitch for Medicaid expansion, "common-sense gun control," environmental regulations and "keeping families together, Winfrey said Abrams offers "the values that matter to Georgians all over this state."
"Democracy is not just about our individual rights and concerns and our individual protections," Winfrey said, "but rather it lives and thrives in making sure that everybody is lifted by the community."
Check back here for updates throughout the day.