Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe has repeatedly tried to tie his Republican opponent, Glenn Youngkin, to former President Donald Trump. When McAuliffe admitted that the race is “not about Trump,” the Youngkin campaign responded with an ad showing just how much McAuliffe has been a broken record on Trump.
“It is just killing Trump that he is not here, obviously,” McAuliffe told CNN on Sunday. “Trump is very unpopular in this state. Everbody knows that. That is probably why Youngkin doesn’t want him,” the Democrat added. President Biden won Virginia by 10 points last year.
“I’d love to have him come in,” the Democrat said of the former president. “But you know… this is not about Trump.”
If the race is not about Trump, McAuliffe may want to re-evaluate his strategy.
Youngkin’s campaign responded with an ad showing just how many times the Democrat has mentioned Trump on the campaign trail.
“Terry McAuliffe is backpedaling so hard he could win the Tour de France in reverse. Republicans, Independents and Democrats are coming together to support Glenn Youngkin because they know he’s the only candidate that is focused on what really matters,” the Youngkin campaign told Fox News following the ad’s release. The McAuliffe camp did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
While Trump will not travel to Virginia before the election on Tuesday, he will hold a tele-rally for Youngkin on Monday.
“It’s confirmed: on Monday, Donald Trump is showing up to support Glenn Youngkin,” McAuliffe wrote in a statement after news of the tele-rally broke on Thursday. “Youngkin’s entire campaign has been a full embrace of Donald Trump’s dangerous extremism: divisive culture wars, racist dog whistles and bigotry.”
As for his part, Youngkin has accused McAuliffe of “making up a candidate” by twisting the Republican’s record into something unrecognizable.
McAuliffe’s campaign appears desperate, as his events have attracted paltry crowds. Youngkin has focused on education issues, winning over a majority of Virginia parents and picking up an 8-point lead among likely voters, according to a Fox News poll Thursday.
On Friday, the Lincoln Project claimed responsibility after five people posing as White nationalists from the 2017 event in Charlottesville stood for a photo-op in front of Youngkin’s campaign bus. McAuliffe staffers shared photos of the “Youngkin supporters” on Twitter before the Lincoln Project admitted that it was a hoax.