Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the I Will Vote Fundraising Gala Thursday, June 6, 2019, in Atlanta.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the I Will Vote Fundraising Gala Thursday, June 6, 2019, in Atlanta. / AP Photo

Four presidential candidates traveled to Atlanta Thursday seeking endorsements, raising campaign cash and hoping to reach voters. 

Cory Booker says Georgia is a blue state. Pete Buttigieg claims that Stacey Abrams was robbed of an election. Joe Biden changes his stance on federal abortion funding. Beto O'Rourke proposes a plan to automatically register more voters. GPB's Robert Jimison reports

Booker and Buttigieg both delivered prepared remarks at the African American Leadership Summit hosted by the Democrtic National Committee. The event provides a prime opportunity for candidates to court an important demographic of the electorate — the Southern black vote. 

After his remarks Booker told a group of reporters that Georgia "is a blue state" and that he believes there are more Democratic voters in that state than we are aware of.

Buttigieg also focused on voter turnout and suppression, a central theme for Democrats who feel that their wave in 2018 came crashing at the hand of voter interference. "When racially motivated voter suppression is permitted. When these districts are drawn so that politicians get to choose their vote instead of the other way around. When money is allowed to not vote. People in this country we cannot truly say that we live in a democracy." 

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His proposal to combat this includes automatic voter registration and spearheading an effort to pre-register voters. 

In the evening Biden and O'Rourke spoke to atetndees of the DNC's 'IWillVote' Gala. Biden began his remarks by taking a new position on tax payer funded abortions. He told the crowed that he now opposes the Hyde Amendment, a ban on using federal funds for abortions except in the case of rape, incest or when the health of the mother is in danger. Biden has supported the amendment since his time in the Senate and faced backlash from his stance from other democartic challengers. 

“I can’t justify leaving millions of women without access to the care they need and the ability to exercise their constitutionally protected right,” Biden said Thursday. “If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s ZIP code.”

Biden told supporters that his reversal of support was due to the recent abortion laws passed in states across the country that make it harder for low-income women to access abortion procedures. 

O'Rourke, who has criticzed Biden for his previous support of the law, did not take go after him or any other candidate during his time on stage. The former congressman from Texas instead spent his time on stage talking about ways to unify the country and bring faith back to our democracy. 

"If we repair our democracy at this moment of maximum threat and peril for that very democracy and for this country then we will fully honor the service and the sacrifice of those who preceded us."