After the photo surfaced on Twitter earlier today courtesy of an oddly incurious local NBC News “reporter,” speculation on Twitter ran wild as to the identities of the individuals seen standing in front of Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin’s campaign tour bus this morning in Charlottesville, all of who were carrying tiki torches and some of who wore hats indicating “support” for former President Donald Trump.
To many, the photo appeared staged and phony, deliberately made to invoke memories of the tiki torches being carried by white nationalists the night before the infamous 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville. For those who missed the photo, here it is:
These men approached @GlennYoungkin’s bus as it pulled up saying what sounded like, “We’re all in for Glenn.” Here they are standing in front of the bus as his campaign event at Guadalajara started.@NBC29 pic.twitter.com/l681ejyBjc
— Elizabeth Holmes (@holmes_reports) October 29, 2021
Not long after it was shared and even as sellout punks like Rep. Eric Swalwell ran with it, Twitter sleuths began digging and latched on to the possibility that some of the participants in the photo were directly affiliated with the Official Democratic Party of Virginia. Others believed some of the individuals in the photo were part of Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe’s campaign, a campaign that has repeatedly made false accusations of “raaacism!” against Youngkin and his supporters a focal point of the race.
But not long after both the Virginia Democratic Party and McAuliffe’s campaign denied involvement, the Lincoln Project – known previously for covering up for co-founder John Weaver’s sick sexual predation tendencies towards underage boys – released a statement admitting to staging the tiki torch photo.
In it, they made clear that the point behind the despicable stunt was to remind voters of how Youngkin was allegedly a clone of Trump (even though he isn’t):
“Glenn Younkin has said: ‘President Trump represents so much of why I am running.’ Youngkin proves it every day by trying to divide Virginians using racial code words like Critical Race Theory and supporting a ban on teaching the works of America’s only Black Nobel laureate.
“The Lincoln Project has run advertisements highlighting the hate unleashed in Charlottesville as well as Glenn Youngkin’s continued failure to denounce Donald Trump’s ‘very fine people on both sides.’ We will continue to draw this contrast in broadcast videos, on our social media platforms, and at Youngkin rallies.
“Today’s demonstration was our way of reminding Virginians what happened in Charlottesville four years ago, the Republican Party’s embrace of those values, and Glenn Youngkin’s failure to condemn it.
“The Youngkin campaign is enraged by our reminder of Charlottesville for one simple reason: Glenn Youngkin wants Virginians to forget that he is Donald Trump’s candidate.
“We will continue to hold Glenn Youngkin accountable. If he will denounce Trump’s assertion that the Charlottesville rioters possessed ‘very fine’ qualities, we’ll withdraw the tiki torches. Until then, we’ll be back.”
In other words, if Youngkin doesn’t denounce something Trump did not say (more receipts on that here), Lincoln Project will continue to be the dishonest, unprincipled, debased bought and paid for hacks they’ve always been. What disgusting little creeps.
On a related note, I guess I was ahead of my time when I tweeted this out on Twitter earlier only half-joking (for the record, he doesn’t appear to be in the photo):
Has Rick Wilson been identified as one of the tiki torch carriers in that obviously staged photo? 🤔 #VAgov
— Sister Toldjah 😁 (@sistertoldjah) October 29, 2021
In some ways, what they’re doing here is similar to what Joe Biden did when he launched his presidential campaign, saying he got into the race because Trump called the tiki torchers “very fine people,” which, again, he did not do.
All that said, as far as I’m concerned, the LP’s admission here as to the staging of the stunt does not negate the possibility of someone or some people from the Virginia Democrat party and/or McAuliffe’s campaign also being involved. The politically incestuous relationships some candidates have with affiliated PACs may be at play in this particular instance. That said, the identities of those involved are still being confirmed, and we still don’t know for sure at this point who they are.
In addition to what they pulled today, we also reported last night on a predictable “Southern Strategy” ad the LP released yesterday, an ad that tried to scare black voters by falsely tying Youngkin to the racist “Southern Strategy” days from decades ago.
As I said earlier, fortunately, the desperate “racism” tactic being used by McAuliffe, his campaign, his surrogates, and “unofficial” allies don’t appear to be sticking, as polls now show Youngkin surging ahead. My hope is that Virginia voters will send a strong message next week that they’re done with this type of gutter politics and emotional manipulation, and tell McAuliffe with their vote to kiss their grits.