Protests Greet Biden, Terry McAuliffe in Northern Virginia: 'Virginia Democrats Have An Enthusiasm Gap'

Posted: Jul 24, 2021 3:00 PM

On Friday, President Joe Biden visited Arlington to campaign for the Democratic statewide ticket in Virginia, most notably former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who was elected in 2013. The state constitution prevents governors from running for back-to-back terms, hence he is running again in 2021.

Outside of the rally location, counter protesters were seen with anti-McAuliffe signs, as well as those in support of the Republican candidate for governor, former Carlyle Executive Glenn Youngkin.

When it comes to the rally itself, local Republicans were quick to react to the lack of diversity at the rally, as well as the lack of masks

The campaign is also receiving attention at the national level, as "Virginia" was at one point trending on Twitter. GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel warned that Biden and McAuliffe support taxpayer funded abortion.

That same day, McAuliffe tweeted his commitment to enshrining the "right to choose" abortion in the state constitution. Biden has consistently communicated a commitment to codify that so-called right found in Roe v. Wade, should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn the 1973 landmark decision.

Townhall has covered McAuliffe's strong support for abortion as a candidate in 2013 and governor, which he's only grown to be more forthcoming on. Since such reporting, he has touted further endorsements, including NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, whose national organization in April tweeted "It's past time to defund the police."

The Virginia affiliate tweeted the same message just last month.

When asked by the Federalist if he agreed with that comment, McAuliffe's campaign did not respond to such requests. 

McAuliffe was also criticized for his choice of words, specifically his claim that "a right-wing Supreme Court [is] ready to hack away at the right to choose," emphasis added.

Matthew Hurtt, the Communications Director for Arlington GOP was present at the counter protest, which he helped coordinate. 

"It was important to us that even in deep-blue Arlington, Joe Biden and Terry McAuliffe realized there are thousands of people who don't ascribe to their radical theology," he said in a statement for Townhall. 

He also shared that "the most shocking thing for me was how few people actually attended. In a country that went 80%+ for Biden, only a couple thousand people attended. This shows Virginia Democrats have an enthusiasm gap heading into November."

An email sent out to Arlington GOP members showcased Hurtt's presence at numerous protests and counter protests.

Hurtt is not the only one to note this "enthusiasm gap." Executive Director of Virginia FREE and former Delegate Chris Saxman, in a blog post republished with Bearing Drift, mentioned "a potential softness in Democratic enthusiasm for Terry McAuliffe," with original emphasis, as part of the "11 Reasons Why Virginia Republicans Can Win This Fall." 

McAuliffe was not the only one Virginia Democrat at the rally. Hala Ayala, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, as well as Democratic incumbent attorney general Mark Herring, and the sitting governor, Democrat Ralph Northam, also appeared.

The Republican Party of Virginia made note of Northam and Herring's admittance to using black face, as well as Biden eulogizing Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), who was an an Exalted Cyclops in the Ku Klux Klan.

In a piece by Todd J. Gillman with the Dallas Morning News, Ayala is seen posing with Democratic Texas State Rep. Shawn Thierry. As Townhall reported, a handful of members tested positive for COVID, with more reported cases coming to light since last weekend.

Towards the closing of his speech, Biden told the crowd " We got to re-elect Hala as your Lieutenant Governor," though her political experience has been the Virginia House of Delegates. 

At one point, Biden said McAuliffe "knows also about crime prevention as a top priority." Republicans, however, have made it a focus of the campaign to highlight the rising crime from when McAuliffe was in office.

Notably, Biden took multiple shots at former President Donald Trump. "I ran against Donald Trump and so is Terry," he said. "I whipped Donald Trump in Virginia and so will Terry." 

Of course, Trump is not on the ballot for a statewide race in Virginia, though he did heartily endorse Youngkin. 

The Youngkin campaign responded by tying McAuliffe to Trump as well.

Biden did win Virginia with 54.1 percent to Trump's 44.0 percent. A Republican nominee for president hasn't won there since 2004.

The election for such statewide offices will take place on Tuesday, November 2.

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