Last week we reported on how Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe made what some consider to be a catastrophic blunder in his campaign to become the state’s governor for the second (non-consecutive) time during the debate he had Tuesday with Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin.
To quickly recap, the two were battling on the issue of whether or not parents should be notified when public school lesson plans will include sexually explicit content when a visibly agitated McAuliffe told Youngkin that, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
Youngkin smartly capitalized on the moment with a blistering ad the following day that juxtaposed McAuliffe’s comments alongside concerned Virginia parents speaking out at school board meetings about the sexually explicit content found in some school library books.
The next day, McAuliffe doubled down during an interview with a local news outlet, stating that, “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.”
Unfortunately for the McAuliffe campaign, things haven’t gotten any better. Democrat Doug Wilder, who was Virginia’s first black Governor and who has not been shy in the past about publicly criticizing McAuliffe, was asked Thursday during a radio interview about what McAuliffe proclaimed and if he believed he made a mistake. Wilder answered “yes” unequivocally and then got right to the heart of the matter.
“If parents don’t have a say so in terms of their kids’ education, then who does?” Wilder asked rhetorically. “And I don’t think anyone is waiting for that answer to come forth. You know what that answer is.”
“If parents don’t have a say-so in terms of their kid’s education, then who does?” said former Virginia Governor Doug Wilder when asked about Terry McAuliffe saying, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” #VAgov pic.twitter.com/QXbcPml9C4
— Glenn Youngkin (@GlennYoungkin) October 4, 2021
You can listen to the full 18-minute interview here.
And over the weekend, McAuliffe’s campaign showed how much they supposedly respect a diversity of black voices when they mocked the endorsement Youngkin received from the Hampton Roads Black Caucus, suggesting because they once endorsed a Republican mayoral candidate that their voices don’t count:
I love it when the Youngkin team tweets HUGE NEWS about a Republican group endorsing their Republican candidate https://t.co/5EpTkTrorV
— Christina Freundlich (@christinafreund) October 2, 2021
Except the HRBC is not a “Republican group.” It would appear they are a bipartisan group that doesn’t automatically toe one party line or the other based on their past endorsements:
Previously, the caucus endorsed Terry McAuliffe for governor in 2013 and Ralph Northam for governor in 2017.
I guess black voices don’t matter to the McAuliffe campaign unless they support Democrats. Think about it.
Last but not least, Alexandra DeSanctis helpfully pointed out today that apparently, McAuliffe is unaware of Virginia’s state code on parental rights:
It turns out that, in addition to the several obvious issues with McAuliffe’s position, the former Virginia governor has also blatantly contradicted the state’s own code, section 1-240.1. of which enumerates the “rights of parents” as follows: “A parent has a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent’s child.”
That’s a lot of new ad material in the course of just a few days. With just a few weeks to go before Election Day, let’s hope Virginia Republicans, Youngkin, and his campaign respond accordingly.