We wrote yesterday about how Gov. Ralph Northam (D) moonwalked his foot into his mouth on the issue of “what went wrong” in the I-95 fiasco this week that saw thousands of drivers stranded in freezing temperatures along a roughly 90-mile stretch of the interstate in Virginia, with some – including Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine – being stuck for over 24 hours.
To quickly recap, instead of taking any responsibility at all, Northam instead decided it would be a good idea to blame the drivers, in comments first reported by the Washington Post:
State Police and transportation officials took to the air to monitor progress because highway traffic cameras went dark amid power outages, Northam said. While expressing sympathy for stranded motorists, Northam said more should have heeded warnings to stay off the roads.
“We gave warnings, and people need to pay attention to these warnings, and the less people that are on the highways when these storms hit, the better,” he said. “I feel for these people that are stranded but just want to let them know we’re doing everything we can to get to them in a very challenging situation.”
It was a very tone-deaf statement to make considering the state’s notification failures, what the Virginia Dept. of Transportation did and did not do in advance of the storm, the years of corruption within the department, as well as their botched handling of other situational things as the crisis unfolded – not to mention the fact that Northam himself was MIA up until Tuesday as drivers remained stuck.
Unfortunately for Virginians, Northam doubled down on his comments today, deciding to go full Terry McAuliffe during an interview with local radio station WRVA:
Northam took issue with characterizing the response as what went wrong, saying [he’s] “sick and tired” of talking about it in those terms.
Northam says people should be saying thank you to those responders who braved the elements to get to people. He also wondered why more questions were not being asked of those who were driving in the storm and its aftermath. Northam has received criticism for the state’s response, with numerous people, including incoming House Speaker Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah), wondering why the National Guard wasn’t called.
Here’s a more full quote from Northam:
Northam did not like WRVA asking about I-95 backup. "I don't know why you're sitting there saying 'what went wrong.' … Why don't you start asking some of these individuals that were out on the highways … why did you feel it was so important to drive through such a snowstorm?"
— Patrick Wilson (@patrickmwilson) January 6, 2022
A partial clip from the interview can be seen below. More video clips from the contentious exchange can be found here:
Asked about the hundreds of people stranded on I-95 in Virginia for more than 27 hours, Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam lashes out:
"I don't know why you're sitting there saying, 'What went wrong?'" pic.twitter.com/mnShu8kxuj
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 6, 2022
Another excuse Northam and the VDOT have been giving this week in response to the backlash over what happened is that while they were aware the storm was coming, they allegedly were not aware it would be as bad as it was.
During a segment on the issue yesterday, HLN meteorologist Bob Van Dillen went off on Northam and others for making the claim, calling them “jackasses” and saying “shut up” and “it pisses me off” because he and other weather forecasters had indeed been predicting days in advance as to the type of storm the area got.
The weather dept. @ #HLNTV is HOT 🔥 this morning.
Someone get Bob some ice 🧊. 🌊🏄♂️ #WinterStorm #I95 #snowstorm pic.twitter.com/i4ExolKpyR
— ⭐ 🎬 📽 (@HollywoodBlvd1) January 5, 2022
The Jersey dude has a point. Several of them, in fact.
Thankfully, there are only a few more days to go before Gov. Blackface heads for the exits. Good riddance.
Related: Virginia Lt. Gov.-Elect Winsome Sears Drops Some Words of Wisdom Just a Few Weeks out From Inauguration Day