The implosion of Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s gubernatorial campaign is real and the numbers don’t lie.
As we previously reported, since his disastrous debate moment last week where he told Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin that, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” McAuliffe has not been acting like a guy who — up until a few days ago — had been consistently ahead in the polls, even fretting on a teleconference call with other Democrats earlier this week over President Biden’s unpopularity in Virginia.
Assisting him in that effort has been Youngkin himself, who released a blistering ad the day after the debate highlighting McAuliffe’s remarks alongside those of concerned Virginia parents who spoke during school board meetings about the sexually explicit content found in public school library books. And instead of backtracking, McAuliffe doubled down in an interview 24 hours later, where he said, “You don’t want parents coming in, in every different school district saying this is what should be taught here and this is what should be taught there.”
Here we are a week and a half out since that debate, and in the midst of Youngkin closing the gap with McAuliffe in post-debate polling, McAuliffe is still doing himself no favors as evidenced by what turned out to be a heated exchange between himself and a local reporter during a roundtable discussion Thursday night on the question of Critical Race Theory being taught in public schools:
When [reporter Anita] Blanton questioned McAuliffe about CRT, he called it a “dog whistle” that’s dividing people but wouldn’t define what he believes it means.
“Anita, it is not taught here in Virginia,” McAuliffe said.
“But how do you define it?” Blanton pressed.
“Doesn’t matter. It’s not taught here in Virginia. So I’m not going to spend my time. I’m not going to even spend my time because the school board and everyone else says it’s not taught. It’s racist. It’s a dog whistle,” McAuliffe said.
“But if we don’t have a definition, how can we say it’s racist?” Blanton pressed again.
McAulliffe never did define it.
Watch a clearly flustered McAuliffe get upstaged and embarrassed below:
Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe suggests parents concerned about Critical Race Theory are racist, then refuses to define CRT. pic.twitter.com/MKnnb5BC4S
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 8, 2021
For starters, accusing parents who are concerned about the implementation of CRT of being “racists” is not going to go over well, considering Virginia has become one of the nation’s hot spots in the fight after CRT, with parents showing up to school board meetings angrily confronting school board members who lie to their faces when they tell them they have no plans to implement CRT are an alternative version of it in classrooms.
Secondly, and just for the purposes of discussion, let’s say it wasn’t being taught in Virginia (whether under the “CRT” banner or a deceptive one with the same underlying message). It doesn’t matter, because it’s obviously become a source of contention and concern for parents, and McAuliffe has an obligation to weigh on whether or not he would support the implementation of it in Virginia public school classrooms.
He chose not to last night, and instead decided to further insult and demean parents over the issue by referring to them as racists. And good on Blanton for dunking on McAuliffe on how if, in his view, we don’t have a definition how can he describe opposition to it as “racist.”
As I said earlier, McAuliffe is behaving like a guy who is on the ropes in this campaign, not someone who was ahead by a polling average of between four and five points before last Tuesday’s debate. It’s been a remarkable turn of events in a short amount of time, and with just a few weeks to go between now and Election Day, if he doesn’t get it together he may be in for a big surprise on November 2nd.