President Joe Biden on Wednesday blamed Donald Trump voters, ‘conservative folk’ and Americans upset about ‘COVID and gasoline prices’ for Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s crushing defeat in the Virginia governor’s race.
He said his multi-trillion dollar spending plan should have been approved before the polls opened on Tuesday, but he wasn’t convinced it would have changed the minds of Trump supporters who backed Republican Glenn Youngkin.
Biden gave his reasons for the loss while the Democrats went to war over what went wrong – with progressives hinting the party should go further left – and with a bleak situation leading up to the 2022 midterms.
The president also didn’t mention one of the key issues that sparked Youngkin’s win – parental control over education – when he listed off the reasons for the dismal outcome, including COVID, concerns with going back to school and rising costs.
He also blamed Trump voters and conservatives – even though Youngkin saw a surge in support from white woman, the suburbs and Latinos from 2020.
In a brief question-and-answer session at the White House After remarks on COVID vaccines for kids, Biden attributed Democrat McAuliffe’s crushing loss on Donald Trump‘s fired up supporters who turned out in force in the governor’s race, suggesting that even if his agenda passed before Election Day it might not have made a difference.
‘I think it should have passed before Election Day, but I’m not sure that I would be able to have changed the number of very conservative folks who turned out and the red districts who were Trump voters. But maybe,’ the president said during a White House event on Wednesday.
By invoking Trump, Biden was at least partly agreeing with his predecessor, who immediately took credit for Youngkin’s win, and claimed it was MAGA forces who put him over the top – in a race where Youngkin took some notable steps to try to keep distance between himself and the former president.
When asked if Democrats should have won in Virginia considering Biden won it by 10 points in 2020, the president said: ‘I know we did, but we also – I was running against Donald Trump’ – a comment that suggested Youngkin was a stronger and less divisive figure.
Biden said that he continues to bring up Trump ‘because the issues he supports are affecting their lives every day, and their negative impact on their lives.’
Youngkin was able to haul in a record number of statewide votes, in part by improving on Trump’s support among white suburban women in 2020.
‘Look, I just think people are at a point, and it is understandable, where there’s a whole lot of confusion. Everything from are you ever going to get COVID under control or are my kids going to be in school, are they going to be able to stay in school to whether or not I’m going to get a tax break that allows me to be able to pay for the needs of my kids and my family,’ he said.
‘People are upset and uncertain about a lot of things – from COVID to school to jobs to a whole range of things, and the cost of a gallon of gasoline,’ the president said.
Although Biden mentioned parent’s concerns about having their kids be in school, he didn’t mention issues on parental control of curriculum that Youngkin used to hammer McAuliffe.
Asked a leading question about Republicans ‘running on race, education, lying on Critical Race Theory,’ Biden didn’t seem to have yet found an answer for how to respond to an attack that Republicans are already talking about trying to replicate in other races, even forging a ‘Parents Bill of Rights.’
‘Well, I think the whole answer is just to speak the truth, lay out where you are. Look. I’m convinced that if you look at everything from my view on criminal justice system, to my view on equal opportunity, to my view on economic issues and all the things that have been pushing in legislation, which are the elements are overwhelmingly popular, we have to speak them. We have to speak to them and explain them,’ he said.
The former president was obviously on Biden’s mind hours after the loss that could have reverberations throughout his term.
When a reporter failed to silence his cell phone and it started ringing during what turned into a mini press conference, Biden turned to him and quipped: ‘If that’s, Trump tell him I’m busy.’
Biden also took a shift from his press mode while traveling in Europe in previous days. Instead of calling off a pre-arranged list, he appeared to call spontaneously on reporters he knew who were raising their hands.
Warring factions of the Democratic Party have played the blame-game ever since the election was swaying the way of Republican Glenn Youngkin on Tuesday evening.
The Democrat’s left flank blamed the loss on the establishment former Governor Terry McAuliffe. Progressives, led by ‘squad’ member Ilhan Omar, insist the Democratic Party needs to go even further left to win future elections.
On Tuesday at the COP26 in Glasgow, Scotlan, Biden said of the Virginia election: ‘We’re gonna win. I think we’re gonna win in Virginia. The race, it’s very close. It’s about who shows up, who turns out.’
‘Granted I did win by a large margin [in Virginia], but the point of the matter is I think that this is going to be – what we all knew from the beginning – it’s going to be a tight race. And it is tight,’ he said Tuesday as voters went out to cast their ballots.
Biden made short remarks at the White House Wednesday regarding the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approval for children aged 5-11 to get the coronavirus vaccine.
Rather than being able to celebrate that win for his administration, Biden’s day was mired by the losses in Virginia – where Republican candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general won in a state that has been increasingly blue the last few elections.
Joe Biden blamed Donald Trump’s supporters for Democrat Terry McAuliffe losing the Virginia gubernatorial race to Republican Glenn Youngkin. The president speaks at the White House on Wednesday
‘Yesterday reminded me of that one of the sacred rights we have is to be able to go out and cast our votes,’ Biden said on Wednesday.
‘And remember,’ he added, ‘that we all have a responsibility to accept the legitimacy of these elections.’
The president said he called to congratulate McAullife for receiving a record-number of votes, despite losing the election.
Before Tuesday night, any Americans under 12-years-old were not able to get vaccinated against COVID-19, leading to nationwide mandates requiring school-age children to remain masked at all times. The new approval now allows children 5-11 to get the Pfizer vaccine.
Progressive Democrats blamed their party for not doing enough to combat the Republican’s ‘race-baiting bulls***’ as factions played the blame game for McAuliffe’s crushing defeat in Virginia and a close gubernatorial race in New Jersey on Tuesday night.
Senator Tim Kaine (D-Ohio) said he hoped his colleagues would treat the dismal showing like the ‘Ghost of Christmas Future’ and moderates called for an end to in-fighting with Biden’s agenda still stalled and his approval ratings plummeting.
Even the mainstream media was damning of the results and the fallout with CNN saying Biden returned from Europe to a ‘political nightmare’, The New York Times suggesting the president’s falling approval rating ‘heavily shaped’ the dismal showing, and The Washington Post said it confirmed the collapse of the coalition that propelled the Democrats to victory over Donald Trump in 2020.
‘The menacing thunder couldn’t get much louder for Democrats,’ Lisa Lerer of The NY Times wrote. ‘The Republican resurgence on Tuesday in Virginia — a state that President Biden won by 10 percentage points last year — and surprising strength in solidly blue New Jersey offer a vivid warning of the storm clouds gathering as Democrats look warily to the horizon.’
The Democrat’s left flank blamed the loss on the establishment Gov. Terry McAuliffe – in a race where Youngkin hammered the Democrats on Critical Race Theory, parental control of the school curriculum and made huge gains on Donald Trump with white women and the suburbs while holding his base.
‘Squad’ member Omar (D-Minn) let it be known she believes the party’s establishment wing is to blame in Virginia, on a night when voters in her Minneapolis constituency rejected a proposal to replace the cops with a public safety department.
She retweeted a comment by Twitter user Secular Talk that said ‘Can’t wait for the left to be blamed for a not at all left democrat losing a D+10 state.’ She added a face-smacking emoji.
A statement by the Battle Barn Collective – far-left coalition of groups including the Battle Born Collective, Justice Democrats and the Sunrise movement – called the Virginia results a ‘shellacking’ that should be a ‘wake up call’ for the party and called McAuliffe’s campaign ‘milquetoast’.
‘Terry McAuliffe ran the milquetoast campaign he wanted to run — where every other word he uttered was ‘Donald Trump’ instead of focusing on the issues voters cared about the most,’ they said in a statement. What happened in Virginia is what happens when Democrats fail to take on the GOP’s divide-and-conquer racism and motivate people to turn out.
‘The McAuliffe campaign had no comprehensive pro-worker economic message against a literal private equity magnate. It had no positive message on what the next four years would be like for Virginians. It had no rebuttal to Republican race-baiting bull****. Put simply: it was a campaign designed to fail.
On the flip side, centrist Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia urged Democrats to take the events in Virginia as a cautionary tale for lawmakers to focus more on the constituents in their state.
He said the results, not just in the governor’s race but all the way down the ticket, were ‘unbelievable’ and was proof that people are concerned about issues such as inflation.
The infighting highlighted sharp divisions over President Biden’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better plan, which remains stalled even as seasoned Democrats warned of harsh repercussions if the party fails to unify and start producing results.
Youngkin’s win over McAuliffe, who conceded Wednesday morning after the smack-down in a state Biden won by 10 points just a year ago, coincided with months of internal bickering over Build Back Better – which had yet to get a House vote as of Wednesday and didn’t have a sign-off from two crucial Democratic senators.
Seasoned Democrats and outside groups are warning the party to put an end to the endless display of sausage-making or face an ominous off-year election poorly armed.
Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, a former chair of the Democratic National Committee under Barack Obama, lamented the failure of legislative action, and said it made a difference in his state.
McAuliffe ‘could have had a really great wind at his back if Democrats had been willing to get the deal done. So I’m just saying I hope my colleagues absorb this notion that when you have the majority, the D in Democrats should stand for doer, not delay, dithering, do nothing, division,’ Kaine told reporters in the Capitol.
‘I hope the Dems view this as the Ghost of Christmas Future experience – like this isn’t what the future has to be but if you don’t change your ways, this isn’t the future will be,’ he said.
US Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar speaks to the press on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 28, 2021, after a meeting of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. She sent out a retweet anticipating progressives would be blamed for the loss in Virginia
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) retweeted a comment by a Twitter user who predicted the left would get blamed for former Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s defeat
Republican Glenn Youngkin’s win over Democrat Terry McAuliffe has Democratic lawmakers calling for the party to end its display of sausage-making and hurry to act on Joe Biden’s agenda, or face dissatisfied voters in 2022
‘We told you so’: The far-left Battle Born Collective’s statement on the defeat in Virginia
Tonight, Terry McAuliffe lost his bid for Governor of Virginia. In response, Battle Born Collective, Justice Democrats, Sunrise Movement, and United We Dream Action released the following statement:
We told you so.
What happened in Virginia is what happens when Democrats fail to take on the GOP’s divide-and-conquer racism and motivate people to turn out. The McAuliffe campaign had no comprehensive pro-worker economic message against a literal private equity magnate. It had no positive message on what the next four years would be like for Virginians. It had no rebuttal to Republican race-baiting bull***. Put simply: it was a campaign designed to fail.
‘Terry McAuliffe ran the milquetoast campaign he wanted to run—where every other word he uttered was ‘Donald Trump’ instead of focusing on the issues voters cared about the most. The DC establishment consolidated support behind their one-time rainmaker and in doing so sidelined two potentially history-making
running for the same office. There should be no questions or scapegoats about why specific demographics didn’t turn out. Terry McAuliffe offered an uninspired return to yesterday, while voters were focused on what must come next.
‘This was a controlled experiment for what NOT to do in 2022. This is what it looks like when Democrats get caught flat-footed and let Republicans dictate the terms of the debate by manufacturing a fake ‘education crisis.’ It does not have to be this way. There is still time to adopt an inclusive economic message that crowds out racist dog whistles. There is still time to go on offense and fight for the very voters who powered Democratic victories in 2020.
‘This should be a wake up call for Democrats: Give people something to vote
or watch yourselves become the very thing they resoundingly vote
‘The Build Back Better bill as crafted in the Senate and House is going to meet the needs of working families, reduce their costs and combat inflation in a positive way,’ Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), a Biden ally, told MSNBC.
‘I’d urge them to step forward and vote for it, because then we’d have something real to run on.’
House Majority Whip James C. Clyburn to Punchbowl, a Biden ally who serves as the chief vote counter in the House, told Punchbowl: ‘Well, it just reinforces the fact that we need to get these things done,’ when asked about Tuesday’s results.
California Democratic Rep. Scott Peters, who knocked off a GOP incumbent in 2012 in a San Diego seat that trended Democratic, told Politico after watching Youngkin’s big win: ‘We have to show we can govern.’
‘The picture has been of Democrats sparring amongst ourselves,’ he added. ‘That’s probably not the best face to put out. I hope that there’s more of working toward agreement, like we had today, than openly sparring with each other,’ he said, in reference to a breakthrough on prescription drug costs.
The analysis came as the House GOP campaign arm announced it was expanding its target list of Democrats they will invest in defeating next year.
The blame game kicked off Tuesday night, as members of the party’s progressive wing, which has been battling a pair of Senate centrists over President Joe Biden’s Built Back Better plan, tried to tag McAuliffe’s defeat on establishment Democrats. (McAuliffe is a longtime fundraising powerhouse for Bill and Hillary Clinton).
Former Housing Secretary and defeated 2020 presidential candidate Julian Castro told MSNBC, ‘There has been a lot of oxygen spent blaming the progressives, suggesting that perhaps our best bet is always a centrist candidate. I think that we need to rethink that.’
There were different prescriptions on the center-right.
‘It’s unbelievable to see what went on in Virginia and not just from the governor’s race but all the way down that ticket a good bit of change has happened,’ said Sen. Joe Manchin on Wednesday.
‘I think it should be a call to all of us have to be more attentive to the people back home,’ he said, the Hill reported. ‘I’ve been saying this for many, many months, people have concerns, people are concerned.’
Matt Bennett, executive director of centrist group Third Way, pointed to the governing Democratic Party’s inability to act on the big ticket items in a statement.
‘On stasis, the inability of Democrats – so far, at least – to deliver on the promises Joe Biden made last year is an unforced error,’ he wrote. ‘The months of in-fighting and sausage-making must come to an end. We must pass these two historic bills and then explain what they will do to create jobs, cut taxes, and help working families afford the essentials. As our latest public opinion research shows [see below], voters don’t know what’s in the bills, and what they think they know, they mostly don’t like.’
His analysis got a ‘like’ from Biden’s Twitter-engaged chief of staff, Ron Klain.
It was a call to action that was also endorsed by party centrist Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey – although centrist demands over repealing a cap on a state and local tax deduction that helps homeowners in high-wealth states like his were among myriad sticking points that have kept legislation bottled up.
He pointed to the New Jersey governor’s race, where incumbent Phil Murphy was holding a tiny lead in a state Biden won by 16 percentage points.
‘In the end, first of all, Gov. Murphy will win re-election and my takeaway overall in this election is that people want action, they want results,’ he told MSNBC. ‘Frankly it starts right now.’
Youngkin kisses his wife Suzanne as they finish speaking onstage stage at an election-night rally at the Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles
Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin greets supporters at an election night party in Chantilly early on Wednesday
President Joe Biden arrives at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., early Wednesday, right, and walked up the South Lawn after the devastating Democratic defeat in Virginia
‘We need to get these things done,’ Democratic Whip Rep. James C. Clyburn said
Democratic Sen. Chris Coons (Del.) spoke of the need for the party to ‘have something real to run on’ next year
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pushing to finalize deals this week. But in a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter to lawmakers, she indicated he wants to revive one of the key priorities of progressive lawmakers – even though it slammed into problems in the Senate.
‘Because I have been informed by a Senator of opposition to a few of the priorities contained in our bill and because we must have legislation agreed to by the House and the Senate in the final version of the Build Back Better Act that we will send to the President’s desk, we must strive to find common ground in the legislation,’ she wrote.
But she also wrote that she had asked Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Richard Neal ‘for Paid Family and Medical Leave to be included’ in legislation heading to the House Rules Committee.
McAuliffe, too, had called for Congress to act on key legislation in the final weeks of his race, although it is unclear if a deal would have made a difference in a race where Youngkin pulled ahead by stressing hot-button school and social issues, and McAuliffe tried to tie him to Donald Trump.
What was not clear Wednesday morning was how Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was interpreting the results. As of Tuesday, he was still holding out on key elements of the budget package, with concerns about new tax proposals that raise revenue, immigration provisions, and other matters.
If he interprets McAuliffe’s loss as a call to hold firm, it could frustrate party leaders’ goal of immediately ramming legislation through the House and getting deals completed by Thanksgiving.
‘Currently going through the seven stages of grief!’ Liberal hosts get roasted online for their election night ‘meltdown’ following Republican Youngkin’s victory
Social media has roasted liberal news hosts for their ‘meltdown’ as the results came in showing Republican Glenn Youngkin was going to be victorious in Virginia.
Youngkin, 54, last night pulled off a stunning upset to beat Democrat Terry McAuliffe, leading by 2.1 points with 99 percent of the vote counted. He is the state’s first red Governor since 2009.
Hosts on MSNBC and CNN were unable to contain their shock at McAuliffe’s defeat, with Jake Tapper looking at a map of the election results and saying flatly: ‘Oh my God.’
Commentator Joy Reid joined Rachel Maddow on MSNBC and launched an astonishing tirade against ‘dangerous’ Republicans, warning that voting for Youngkin – ‘a soft white racist’ – was a gateway to more ‘hardcore racism.’
Over on CNN, Van Jones said that Youngkin was to Trump what the Delta variant was to Covid-19, saying it’s the ‘same disease, but spreads a lot faster and can get a lot more places.’
Their shock and disappointment at the result gave conservative commentators on Twitter endless joy, with radio host Buck Sexton comparing it to the ‘seven stages of grief.’
‘MSNBC is currently going through the seven stages of grief on an endless loop in real time,’ Sexton tweeted. ‘It’s great, highly recommend.’
Commentator Joy Reid (pictured) was joining Rachel Maddow on MSNBC and launched an astonishing tirade against ‘dangerous’ Republicans, warning that voting for Youngkin – ‘a soft white nationalist’ – was a gateway to more ‘hardcore nationalism.’
Over on CNN, Van Jones said that Youngkin was to Trump what the Delta variant was to Covid-19, saying it’s the ‘same disease, but spreads a lot faster and can get a lot more places’
‘If you want to give yourself a treat, turn on MSNBC,’ Ann Coulter tweeted as results began to favor Republicans in key races.
National Review critic Kyle Smith said: ‘Every conservative I know is watching MSNBC.’
Meghan McCain added, ‘MSNBC is on nothing short of an emotional journey to Narnia tonight.’
Other commentators shared their favourite GIFs of Donald Trump, the former President pointing at a reporter saying, ‘Wrong,’ or footage of him creasing up with laughter.
One user, named USA Live Free or Die, tweeted a series of laughing emojis with the caption: ‘Melting down.’
Jones, a former Obama administration official, told CNN colleagues: ‘The stakes are high. When this election is over in Virginia, we will know… have we seen the emergence of the Delta variant of Trumpism?
‘In other words, Youngkin, same disease, but spreads a lot faster and can get a lot more places.’
He later took to Twitter to clarify his incendiary remark.
‘My point is that playing on racial fears by demagoguing [critical race theory] furthers dangerous aspects of Trumpism, just in friendlier form,’ he wrote. ‘Did not mean to imply that human beings are diseases.’
Reid on MSNBC similarly attacked Youngkin for his stance against critical race theory being taught in schools, claiming that it revealed a thinly veiled racism.
Republican Glenn Youngkin pulled off a stunning upset in Virginia to beat out Democrat Terry McAuliffe, the Associated Press projected around 1am on Wednesday morning. ‘Alrighty Virginia we won this thing,’ Youngkin shouted in his victory speech
Youngkin thanks his family after giving his victory speech at the Westfields Marriott Hotel