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Flashback: Terry McAuliffe, Smearing Opponent on 'Big Lie,' Insisted Democrats 'Won' 2000 Election

AP Photo/Steve Helber, File

When Republican Glenn Youngkin emerged as his party's nominee for governor in Virginia last month, the likely Democratic nominee – former DNC Chair and ex-governor Terry McAuliffe – "welcomed" him to the race with a smear. Youngkin, McAuliffe claimed is an "extreme" member of the GOP who believes the "big lie," i.e. that Joe Biden didn't truly win the 2020 election. It's an extraordinary accusation that would have potency in the blue-trending purple state of Virginia, especially in vote-rich and Trump-hostile northern Virginia. And it seems like a central attack line McAuliffe intends to employ ahead of November's general election:


"Big Lie believing." Days after Youngkin secured the nomination, I interviewed him on my Fox News radio show. I asked him about the 2020 election point-blank, and he gave a very straightforward answer:

GB: Let me just ask you -- did Joe Biden win the election?

GY: He won the election, and guess what?  He sleeps in the White House. He is signing executive orders that we all wish he wasn't.  He addressed a joint session of Congress that looked a little sparse on TV.  And he's our president.  And the reality is, the media's fascination with this is part of Terry McAuliffe's tired rhetoric.

In other interviews, Youngkin has asserted that "of course" he believes the 2020 election was legitimate. That might frustrate some Trump loyalists, but it's a far cry from anything resembling McAuliffe's attack. Meanwhile, what have we here?

Democratic candidate for Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe has falsely claimed Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin questioned the results of the 2020 election, but McAuliffe has his own history of questioning close presidential elections...However, McAuliffe has his own history of questioning the outcome of elections: he did it while serving as the Democratic National Committee chairman with former President George W. Bush’s 2000 electoral win. "Our base voters are madder than heck and think they were robbed. They worked their hearts and souls out in the presidential election only to have it taken from them," McAuliffe said in 2001. McAuliffe also claimed in a 2001 interview with Black Entertainment Television that the Democrats "won the campaign" in 2000 but "didn’t get the prize," and that there would be a re-re-recount that would swing Florida for former Vice President Al Gore by 25,000 votes. "Folks, you know it, I know it, they know it," McAuliffe said at the Democratic Business Council’s 20th-anniversary dinner in 2001. "We won that election." "And let’s never forget it," he added..."Terry McAuliffe is the only person in this race who has suggested an election was stolen," the spokesperson said. "After more than one presidential election he disputed the outcome and cited irregularities. Now McAuliffe is singing a different tune just as you would expect from a hypocritical career politician who talks out of both sides of his mouth."

Well, well, well. What does Terry McAuliffe have to say about this dangerous attack on democracy? Why did he repeat his own party's Big Lie about a contested election they lost? And yes, they absolutely lost. Why is he falsely accusing Youngkin of doing something he himself did, repeatedly? McAuliffe also accused the GOP of "suppression" in 2004, citing voter ID laws among other things, including unproven claims. How much election undermining and democracy attacking is McAuliffe willing to countenance if he's the one engaged in it? Quite a lot, it seems. I'll leave you with Youngkin's new ad running in the state:

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