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2020 candidate Seth Moulton: Abrams' loss shows U.S. racism is systemic

 Congressman Seth Moulton addresses the crowd during a Stand With Planned Parenthood rally at the Boston Common in Boston, Mass. on March 4, 2017.
Democratic presidential candidate Seth Moulton. Photo: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) told a CNN town hall Sunday the U.S. needs a new Voting Rights Act to dismantle systemic racism in the country.

QuoteWe have a problem with racism in America today. If this country wasn't racist, Stacey Abrams would be governor."

Why it matters: Abrams would have been the first African American woman to be governor of Georgia if she were elected last year, but she narrowly lost the race. She initially refused to concede to her opponent, now-Gov. Brian Kemp (R) — whom she called an "architect of voter suppression." In March, House Democrats launched an investigation into Kemp and alleged voting irregularities in the midterm election.

The big picture: At the CNN town hall, Moulton discussed a range of issues, including criminal justice reform such as the legalization of marijuana, and he pointed out racial disparities in the prison system while confessing he'd "smoked weed" when he was younger. "If you're in prison for that, you're out and we expunge those records," he said.

  • Moulton pledged to change Department of Justice guidelines stating that a sitting president cannot be indicted, as he backed impeachment proceedings against Trump.
  • He spoke out against the single-payer program "Medicare for All," preferring a public option that would enable Americans to buy into a scheme such as Medicare. Moulton said his views were based on his experience as an Iraq War veteran, as he opened up further about living with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Go deeper: Seth Moulton on the issues, in under 500 words