Two weeks before Virginia’s bellwether election, Republican Glenn A. Youngkin‘s campaign is banging the pots and pans to draw attention to Democrat Terence R. “Terry” McAuliffe’s sudden end to his interview with WJLA-TV’s Nick Minock.
Three times, a McAuliffe staffer interrupted the interview, which ended with this exchange:
McAuliffe Staffer: “Alright Nick we are already over time.”
Terry McAuliffe: “Alright, we are over. That’s it. That’s it. Hey I gave you extra time. C’mon man. You should have asked better questions early on. You should have asked questions your viewers care about.”
Nick Minock: “Well, we did.”
WJLA-TV anchor Jonathan Elias introduced the paired interviews with an explanation for why McAuliffe’s segment was roughly 10 minutes, compared with Youngkin’s 20-minute segment.
“We do want to point out that the Terry McAuliffe interview is shorter than our interview with Glenn Youngkin, that was not by our doing,” Elias said. “Nick offered both candidates 20 minutes exactly to be fair, for the interviews. McAuliffe abruptly ended 7 News’ interview after just 10 minutes and told Nick that he should have asked better questions.”
The Youngkin campaign quickly tweeted out what happened– the candidate held a rally for 10,000 supporters in the Democratic stronghold of Fairfax County.
— Team Youngkin – Spirit of Virginia (@TeamYoungkin) October 19, 2021
The Syracuse, New York, born McAuliffe served as the commonwealth’s governor from 2014 to 2018, and was considered the favorite going into the campaign. Four years ago, Democrat Dr. Ralph Northam beat Edward W. Gillespie in the governor’s race with 54 percent of the vote compared to Gillespie’s 45 percent.
Two polls released October 14 show the race tightening. The Fox News poll had McAullife leading Youngkin 51 percent to 46 percent and the Trafalgar Group poll had the race tied at 48 percent for each.
The McAuliffe campaign has struggled ever since the former governor said in his September 28 debate with Youngkin these immortal words: “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
Reaction from Virginia’s parents has been like a giant awakening from slumber–especially after it came after Attorney General Merrick Garland issued his October 4 memorandum calling on local school boards to report unruly parents to the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center via its national tip line, 1-800-CALL-FBI, and online through the FBI website.
Even CNN is concerned McAuliffe could lose. The news channel’s editor-at-large wrote about McAuliffe’s commercial where he tried to say his comments about parents were taken out of context.
“What the ad makes clear is that McAuliffe is on the defensive in these last weeks before Virginia voters head to the polls. They feel as though Youngkin is making inroads with his attacks on education — and parents’ role in what their kids should (and do) learn — and that they need to stop the bleeding sooner rather than later,” Cillizza wrote.
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Neil W. McCabe is a national political correspondent for the Star Newspaper Group based in Washington and a Media Fellow at the Gold Institute for International Strategies. Before joining the Star News Network, he was a White House and Capitol Hill reporter for One America News. His special “Biden Family Corruption” was the highest-rated special in the channel’s history. McCabe was the Capitol Hill correspondent for Breitbart News, where he also wrote up the 2016 Breitbart-Gravis polls. McCabe’s other positions include a senior reporter at Human Events and a staff reporter at The Pilot, Boston’s Catholic paper. McCabe also was the editor of The Somerville News, The (North Cambridge, Mass.) Alewife and served as an Army combat historian in Iraq. His 2013 e-book “The Unfriendly Skies” examined how the American airline industry went from deregulation in the late 1970s to come full circle to the highly-regulated, highly-taxed industry it is today.