Biden subjugates Youngkin at McAuliffe marketing campaign freeze with Trump
Biden also alluded to Trump’s embrace of the January 6 riot, adding, “I was told there are many peaceful, wonderful people out there?”
Biden’s broader remarks centered on his administration’s work to end the pandemic and turn the economy around, donating trillions of dollars to infrastructure and welfare programs like the child tax credit, lowering drug prices, and raising taxes for the rich to make ends meet pay.
But his centering on Trump in the Virginia off-year race previewed how he and leading Democrats plan to approach the long shadow Trump has cast over Republicans. In Virginia, Trump has backed Youngkin three times, and Democrats keep their fingers crossed that Biden’s appearance would get Trump to hold an event for the GOP candidate.
“As Democrats, we have to show that we understand this, deliver for them and keep our promises,” he continued. “We just have to keep arguing, just as the Republican Party today only offers fears and lies and broken promises.”
The rally in front of a largely maskless crowd of nearly 3,000 people in Arlington is just over 100 days before the Virginia election in which McAuliffe will compete against Youngkin, a first-time candidate and former manager of the Carlyle Group, in his comeback bid.
Biden’s speech began with a focus on the pandemic and rising coronavirus cases across the country. “What we have now is an unvaccinated pandemic,” he said, saying that “many of our conservative friends” “saw the Lord” accepting vaccinations. He cited the frustration of Alabama GOP Gov. Kay Ivey on “Unvaccinated People” in her state.
The gubernatorial elections in the Commonwealth have almost always suffered against the party in power. In the past 40 years, only one candidate has won governorship while his party controlled the White House: McAuliffe, who won a narrow victory in 2013.
“In these off-year elections, the country is looking,” said Biden.
Biden and his aides are eager to use the race to show the president’s commitment to party building in hopes of averting erasures in the vote. The rally followed the Democratic National Committee’s announcement that it would be spending at least $ 5 million in Virginia ahead of the election in what the party called “the largest investment in the Commonwealth in history.”
Public polls in the race have been sparse, but are expected to be closer than Biden’s 10-point win over Trump – and outgoing Governor Ralph Northam’s outgoing victory in 2017 – with McAuliffe as an easy favorite.
Gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe speaks at an election night rally after winning the Democratic primary on June 8, 2021 in McLean, Virginia. | Drew Angerer / Getty Images
And McAuliffe and his team have publicly claimed that this race is neck and neck. “I need your help,” he told the crowd. “You have to work every day and every night. Sleep is overrated.”
McAuliffe and other Virginia Democrats have also tried to tie Youngkin to Trump.
“Why are Glenn Youngkin and Donald Trump so close?” McAuliffe said at the rally.
Youngkin’s camp insists that McAuliffe is the one with Trump connections. A truck with a digital billboard playing an ad from the campaign highlighting Trump donated to McAuliffe’s previous campaign circled the venue.
“It is completely dishonest of Terry McAuliffe to use President Trump’s support to slander Glenn Youngkin, even though McAuliffe is actually Trump’s friends and took thousands of dollars from Trump to fund his campaign,” said Youngkin spokesman Matt Wolking and also invoked the Clintons.
McAuliffe’s embassy was also heavily focused on business during his tenure in Richmond. He also praised the coronavirus recovery package. “The American bailout has breathed new life into our economy,” said McAuliffe.
The rally will also take place the day after the publication of his first TV commercial for the general election. AdImpact, an ad tracking company, has tracked at least $ 525,000 in McAuliffe TV ad spend, which began Thursday and runs through next Wednesday. In the ad, McAuliffe calls Youngkin “a loyalist to Donald Trump”.
Youngkin, meanwhile, has been on the air almost continuously since the Democratic primary election in early June – and unchallenged until this week.