Terry McAuliffe’s campaign for governor is stumbling in Virginia. Over the past week, he’s boasted about the myriad of non-Virginia, high-profile Democrats that have shown up to stump for him, but that doesn’t appear to have righted the ship. The polls are still close, with a Democrat survey showing just a four-point race today and neither candidate near 50%. That same survey showed Joe Biden’s approval underwater in the state, which can only hurt McAuliffe.
Yet, instead of owning up to his mistakes and getting back on message (whatever that may be), McAuliffe continues to make completely preventable blunders. Another such blunder happened today as he sat down for an interview with a local ABC affiliate. He and Youngkin were both given 20 minutes for fairness from the same journalist. Yet, McAuliffe only made it 10 minutes before snapping and walking off the set. You can hear him berating the interviewer, insisting he should have “asked better questions.”
McAuliffe scolds reporter for asking questions voters don’t care about.
I just watched the full interview, that’s nonsense.
— Brent Scher (@BrentScher) October 19, 2021
Then he asked about crime and public safety.
Then McAuliffe staffer jumped in and McAuliffe left.
So education and crime are the issues McAuliffe thinks voters don’t care about. Alrighty then, good luck.
— Brent Scher (@BrentScher) October 20, 2021
Here was the ABC affiliate’s response in which they explained why McAuliffe’s interview was cut short.
— Henry Rodgers (@henryrodgersdc) October 19, 2021
Clearly, McAuliffe has not yet found the right way to respond to his initial screwup in which he proclaimed at a debate that parents shouldn’t have a say in what schools teach their children. When pressed on whether he had previously misspoken in this interview, he asserted that “no,” he had not. That’s just a terrible answer. It would be very easy for McAuliffe to explain that he believes in a balance between parental input and school board decision-making. I might not agree with that explanation personally, but at least it would make sense to moderates and diffuse the controversy. Instead, he doubled down and caused a scene that ended up getting exposed in embarrassing fashion today. Who is advising this man? Because they should be fired.
With that said, I want to emphasize that while McAuliffe’s campaign is unquestionably a dumpster fire heading into the home stretch, that doesn’t mean he’s going to lose the race. Despite all of his mistakes, the Virginia electorate favors the Democrat. There is some cautious optimism on the Republican side, though. They’ve made this a competitive race when no one thought it would be back during the summer. There’s something to be said for that, and Youngkin should be commended for making it this far with a victory still in reach.
And if he does pull off the victory…watch out.