We are two weeks away from Election Day in Virginia, and all signs point to the continued implosion of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe’s campaign.
As always, we are here for it.
When last we left you, McAuliffe had a meltdown during a contentious Tuesday interview with local news reporter Nick Minock from WJLA, cutting him off and walking off set at around the 10-minute mark of what was supposed to be a 20-minute interview, and not returning. For those who missed it, watch the latest in a series of humiliating moments for his campaign below, where after a McAuliffe handler intervened the candidate scolded the reporter and told him he “shoulda asked better questions”:
— Brent Scher (@BrentScher) October 19, 2021
But there was another moment during the brief interview that has also proven to be embarrassing and even more unintentionally illuminating for Terry McAuliffe, and it’s when he was asked if he “misspoke” during that now-infamous September debate where he admitted that “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
His response was to double down, saying “no!” From the transcript:
Nick Minock: “So, did you misspeak during that debate?”
Terry McAuliffe: “No! I was talking about what we need to do, bringing people together. We have the state boards, we have the Board of Education and we have the local school boards who are all involved in this process. But the issue is how do we deliver the world class education. And the way we do that is invest in it. As I say I’m going to put $2 billion in it. And for me this is not a hope for promise. I’ve done it. I mean I built the best education system in the country when I was governor before. And I remind you that when I went into office, I had a huge deficit and I still put a billion dollars into it.”
WATCH: Terry McAuliffe says he did NOT misspeak in the debate when he said parents shouldn't have a say in their child's education.
— Glenn Youngkin (@GlennYoungkin) October 20, 2021
McAuliffe also keeps insinuating concerned Virginia parents are “racist” for opposing the implementation of Critical Race Theory in public schools, which he has lied about and says is not being done in the state.
None of this is a good look for a guy who says he ran to be the education governor.
For his part, Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin is smartly keeping his foot pushed down on the gas and is responding accordingly every time McAuliffe commits a big blunder, most recently with an ad that ran Monday where he brought the receipts and just wrecked the former Governor who wants a second (non-consecutive) term for laughably claiming his public education comments were taken out of context (they weren’t).
As I noted yesterday, Terry McAuliffe is not behaving like a guy who feels comfortable and confident with where he is in his campaign at this stage in the game. Rather than be on the offensive, he’s on the defensive – and it shows in everything he says and does as he can’t even do a decent job defending himself and his record.
I suspect McAuliffe believed he was going to coast through this race with ease, and very early on that’s the way it looked like it was going to be. But he got cocky. As a Democrat, he expected the media do what they normally do with Democrats and roll over and play nice. But the local press has been aggressively questioning him, which enrages Democrats and causes them to make the exact types of mistakes McAuliffe has.
His continued allowing of his big mouth to overload his circuits by saying the quiet part out loud on a number of important issues has cost him big time, with polls tightening and the bad press increasing. We’ll find out if all this was enough to cost him the race when Virginia voters take to the polls on November 2nd.