Joe Biden helps Terry McAuliffe paint Youngkin as an ‘acolyte of Donald Trump’

·4 min read

ARLINGTON, Va. — President Joe Biden leaned into Terry McAuliffe’s core campaign strategy to tie Republican Glenn Youngkin to former President Trump and nationalize Virginia’s toss-up gubernatorial race.

“I ran against Donald Trump. Terry is running against an acolyte of Donald Trump,” Biden said to a crowd of about 2,500 braving a chilly, windy night in Arlington.

Not long ago, McAuliffe warned that Biden being “unpopular” meant that Democrats would have to work harder through “headwinds from Washington,” and Biden’s approval ratings have dipped further since then.

But with recent gubernatorial race polls showing a dead heat between the former Democratic governor, who is seeking a second non-consecutive term, and Republican Glenn Youngkin, a former private equity firm co-CEO, McAuliffe turned to Biden to give him a boost with one week before Election Day.

“Talk about an oxymoron: Donald Trump and election integrity,” Biden said, appearing to refer to Youngkin’s election integrity platform that he pushed during the Republican primary. “I can't believe he puts the words Trump and integrity in the same sentence.”

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Much of his speech was not about Youngkin but was a response to Trump and a defense of his performance as president.

“Trump likes to boast the single best measure of the economy is the stock market. I never thought that. Well, if that's true, take a look at the stock market now. It's higher than it’s ever been,” Biden said.

Biden’s second appearance in Virginia for McAuliffe, despite coming only barely across the river and just a stone’s throw from the Pentagon, demonstrates a full-court press approach among national Democrats in fear of losing the race in an embarrassing upset. A loss in Virginia, where off-year state elections have historically been a barometer for midterm elections, would damage Biden’s image and Democratic enthusiasm.

The president is just the latest in a parade of Democrats coming to stump for McAuliffe in the critical final weeks of the toss-up campaign.

Former President Barack Obama campaigned with McAuliffe in Richmond over the weekend, and Vice President Kamala Harris campaigned for McAuliffe last week in addition to filming a “Souls to the Polls” ad to be played at black churches.

Stacey Abrams, former Georgia gubernatorial nominee, traveled to Virginia to campaign for McAuliffe, and music producer Pharrell Williams is also set to make an appearance.

Youngkin, meanwhile, has not brought high-profile Republicans to campaign for him in the campaign’s last days. While he has not criticized former President Donald Trump, he has not embraced or brought the former president to campaign for him, preferring to turn his focus to local issues such as education and the effect “woke” school boards are having on parents and children. He has dragged McAuliffe for saying during a debate that parents should not tell schools what to teach.

Biden backed up McAuliffe’s strategy to nationalize the race, teasing him for not campaigning with Trump.

“He won’t allow Donald Trump to campaign for him in this state,” Biden said. “He’s willing to pledge his loyalty to Trump in private. Why not in public? What’s he trying to hide? Is there a problem with Trump here? Is he embarrassed?”

The McAuliffe campaign’s efforts to tie Youngkin to Trump reached Sonya Royster, an undecided voter and small business owner from Loudoun County who mentioned one of McAuliffe’s ads highlighting Youngkin telling a radio host that Trump represents “so much of why I'm running.”

“I was like, ‘Yeah, no,’” she said.

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Royster said she came to Tuesday’s rally seeking more information on McAuliffe and did not realize that Biden would be there until later. As for Biden’s performance so far, she would give it a grade of “B” because she sees "that he’s trying" and "what he inherited, and he’s done a lot to try to strengthen the economy.”

Charlotte Morris, who attended the rally with Royster, said she plans to vote for McAuliffe but had a more critical review of Biden. “I think I’d give him, like, a C+ because he had not had a chance to do a lot of things,” she said.

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Tags: News, Joe Biden, Virginia, Campaign, Terry McAuliffe, Ralph Northam, Glenn Youngkin

Original Author: Emily Brooks

Original Location: Joe Biden helps Terry McAuliffe paint Youngkin as an ‘acolyte of Donald Trump’

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