Former Democratic Governor Douglas Wilder handed Glenn Youngkin a messaging win July 2 when he criticized Terry McAuliffe on The Jeff Katz Show. Wilder attacked McAuliffe for seeking the support of Governor Ralph Northam after previously calling for Northam and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring to resign during Blackface scandals.
“You called on Ralph Northam to resign. Now he didn’t resign. Why do you now seek his support and sought his support for your candidacy? I think it’s a legitimate question to ask,” Wilder told Katz.
“Today, McAuliffe is asking people to vote for that A.G. who served as his attorney general, and seeks the continuing support of Northam. No reasons have been given to the voters as to Terry’s change of mind,” Wilder wrote.
“Nor has any reason been made why McAuliffe felt compelled to violate Virginia’s long-standing precedent by choosing to run again, against persons who had far more experience than he, as he had never held elected office of any kind when he ran.”
Wilder is Virginia’s first African American elected governor. He said, “All of the candidates [McAuliffe] opposed except one, were Black, including two women, whom he felt not qualified to be given the chance that he had been given.”
The Washington Post Contrasts Youngkin, McAuliffe Education Plans
On July 3, The Washington Post reported on the two candidate’s education plans, noting McAuliffe’s “detailed plan” to invest $2 billion in education.
About Youngkin’s education plan, unveiled July 1, The Post reported, “Glenn Youngkin (R), while far lighter on details, has leaned heavily into cultural issues consuming some school boards, especially in vote-rich Northern Virginia. He has promised to ban critical race theory, an intellectual movement that examines the way policies and laws perpetuate systemic racism; opposed certain transgender rights policies; and accused the state — falsely, education officials say — of planning to eliminate accelerated math, the Pledge of Allegiance and Independence Day from school curriculums.”
The McAuliffe campaign highlighted the article the same day, according to Democratic blog Blue Virginia.
Trump: Youngkin Will Make Virginia Great Again
On Friday, former President Donald Trump posted praise for Youngkin.
“Wow, the numbers are really looking good for Glenn Youngkin in his race against Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia. Glenn has been an incredible success and will truly Make Virginia Great Again. Rarely have I seen such enthusiasm,” Trump wrote.
He said Youngkin will fix bad economic policy, crime, and education. Trump said, “He is a highly respected person, not just a figurehead like Virginia’s current and recent past Governors.”
Trump also blasted McAuliffe: “Terry McAuliffe was a failed and unpopular Governor, whose only claim to fame was his relationship with Crooked Hillary Clinton—how did that work out? I knew McAuliffe well. He accepted large campaign contributions from me, said only great things and would do whatever I wanted, until I ran for office.”
McAuliffe’s campaign has been trying to link Youngkin’s reputation to Trump, including with an ad launched at the beginning of July quoting Youngkin: “I was honored to receive President Trump’s endorsement.”
The ad then highlights Trump statements including questioning COVID-19 and saying there were “very fine people on both sides” in response to the 2017 Unite The Right Rally that became violent.
McAuliffe tweeted Friday, “Donald Trump clearly sees himself in Glenn Youngkin. That’s why he endorsed him AGAIN today. Talk about a complete and total endorsement!”
Youngkin Says He Supports Pro-Life Issues But Can’t Campaign on Them
On Wednesday, American Bridge 21st Century PAC tweeted a video of Youngkin saying he won’t “get squishy” on abortion. He said he supports ending taxpayer money for abortions and to stop allowing abortions up until the last week before birth.
“When I’m governor and I have a majority in the House, we can start going on offense,” Youngkin said.
But Youngkin said he couldn’t campaign on the issue.
“But as a campaign topic, sadly, that in fact won’t win my independent votes that I have to get. So you’ll never hear me support Planned Parenthood; what you’ll hear me talking about is actually taking back the radical abortion policies that Virginians don’t want,” he said in the video.
The American Independent reported that Youngkin made the comments to Lauren Windsor, linked to liberal group American Family Voices.
“This deceptively recorded audio demonstrates that Glenn Youngkin says the same thing no matter who he is talking to, and that Terry McAuliffe’s allegations about him are false,” the Youngkin campaign replied.
McAuliffe again attacked Youngkin for not agreeing to more debates.
He tweeted, “After last night’s revelations, it’s clear Glenn Youngkin is trying to hide his right-wing agenda from Virginians. No wonder he’s been dodging the debates!”
Youngkin Announces Plan to Support Veterans
Virginia has a high number of veterans, thanks in part to a large military presence throughout the Commonwealth. At the end of May, WalletHub released a study finding Virginia is the best state for military retirees.
On Thursday, Youngkin announced his plan “to honor the sacrifice of our military veterans, and to make this Commonwealth the best place for our military heroes to pursue the next chapter of their lives.”
“These policies are rooted in my commitment to compete with neighboring states when it comes to veterans benefits and tax treatment, to connect veterans more seamlessly to the many services that they have access to, to create paths for careers worthy of their skills in all fields, but especially in those fields like law enforcement, teaching, and healthcare, where their leadership and training can benefit so many Virginians including our children,” Youngkin said in Virginia Beach, according to a press release.
Some details of the plan include eliminating taxes on military retirement pay, filling critical position at the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDSS), cutting unnecessary VDSS to save costs, and reducing bureaucracy working to get veterans into law enforcement, teaching, and healthcare jobs.
“We can re-imagine the way we provide services so that they are easier to access. And we can eliminate bureaucratic impediments to careers, that fit your skill set and make the transition to civilian life so much easier. And we will do all of this to make Virginia the best place for service personnel looking to write the next chapter of their lives,” he said.
Terry McAuliffe Invested in Carlyle Group While Youngkin Was CEO
On July 1, The Associated Press reported on Youngkin’s role at the Carlyle Group, where there are potential political liabilities for Youngkin including rent increases at Carlyle-owned property and layoffs. But the article also reported that McAuliffe invested at least $690,0000 in Carlyle between 2007 and 2016, though the number could be higher.
Conservative media and the Republican Party of Virginia are highlighting the investments.
“Terry McAuliffe’s plan for the day is to smear Glenn’s record in the private sector because Terry knows his record as a failed governor is no match for an outsider with fresh thinking and a career of building businesses and creating jobs,” the RPV said in a press release. “Two-Faced Terry will attack Glenn for leading a business of nearly 2,000 employees. But Terry neglects to mention — or is just trying to fool Virginia voters — that he profited handsomely from that same business.”
– – –
Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and the Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Governor Douglas Wilder” by Governor Douglas Wilder. Photo “Terry McAuliffe” by Terry McAuliffe. Background Photo “Virginia Capitol” by Anderskev. CC BY 3.0.