Terry McAuliffe Makes ‘Pivot’ That Could Seal His Fate as Another Interview Is Cut Short

AP Photo/Cliff Owen

We’re a week and one day out from Election Day in Virginia, and with things all tied up now including in the newest Emerson polling between Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe and Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin, a desperate McAuliffe – once thought to be a shoo-in to win second non-conservative term – is now making the campaign move that ultimately could seal his fate.

According to Axios, McAuliffe has “pivoted” to public schools and education in the final week, seeking to make up the ground he’s lost over the last month, which started after that late September debate when he admitted that “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

Instead of realizing his epic blunder and backtracking, McAuliffe has doubled down, and along with that has gotten downright combative with local reporters who rightly press him on the issue – in one instance stomping off a TV set and whining about how the reporter “should have asked better questions,” as though questions about public education were not important to the voters of Virginia.

Down the homestretch, McAuliffe is trying to pretend like he now realizes how important the issue is to voters in the state, hence the reason for the “pivot”:

By focusing on education, McAuliffe is trying to shift the debate on a topic that resonates especially with pivotal suburban women.

The past and would-be future governor is warning parents that plans pushed by Youngkin will quietly cut thousands of teaching jobs — and this should be a bigger concern than the tonality of lesson plans around systemic racism.

“Listen, he’s got an economic plan that 43,000 teachers will be cut. $10 billion hole in education. So, I want to rebuild, and that’s what I’m excited to do,” McAuliffe said about Youngkin.

But according to Axios, McAuliffe got testy during their interview with him, especially when they tweaked him about his constant references to former President Trump, which even CNN and ABC News have hit him over. McAuliffe ended up getting so agitated that he cut the Axios interview short to the tune of only giving five minutes in what was supposed to be a 20-minute interview:

…. [McAuliffe’s] staff told Axios a planned 20-minute interview — which they had requested following the Axios interview with Youngkin — was being limited to five minutes.

McAuliffe himself got agitated as Axios asked him about his efforts to tie Youngkin to Trump.

“I’m not tying — he’s tying himself. He said, ‘I’m honored to receive his endorsement, so much of the reason why I’m running is because of Donald Trump.’ I’m not tying him; he is.”

Just not a good look and, again, not the sign of a confident candidate at this stage in the race.

The problem with McAuliffe’s attempt to woo back any education-focused voters he lost is that he has not retracted his original comments. And to this day he is still insinuating that parents who oppose the implementation of Critical Race Theory in public school classrooms are “racists.” Not only that, but in McAuliffe’s view, the debates over CRT and gender identity politics being inserted into the classrooms are manufactured controversies:

How can you proclaim to be the “education governor” when you a) tell parents they should have no voice in public school curriculums, b) refuse to acknowledge the very real concerns parents are bringing up at school board meetings, and c) suggest concerned parents are “racists”? These are not trick questions. They’re serious ones.

McAuliffe’s got eight days to convince voters to take him seriously on public education. Youngkin’s got the same amount of time to hammer home the point to voters that McAuliffe’s repeated disrespecting of parents in the state disqualifies him from the seat he thinks he owns. Whoever wins the education argument wins the race:

I can’t wait until next week.

Flashback: Terry McAuliffe Just Loses It When Asked by Virginia Sheriff if He Supports Defunding the Police