President Joe Biden deflected blame for Terry McAuliffe’s loss in the Virginia gubernatorial race Wednesday, saying he is “not sure” that he would have been capable of changing the high voter turnout among Republicans. Youngkin’s campaign focused heavily on education, particularly the spread of critical race theory (CRT) in school curriculums.
Biden’s Wednesday statement comes less than a day after McAuliffe’s stunning loss to Republican first-time candidate Glenn Youngkin. McAuliffe had been heavily favored in the race, leading Youngkin in polls by double digits in the early days of campaigning.
“Mr. President, do you take some responsibility, and do you think Terry McAuliffe would have won if your agenda had passed before Election Day?” a reporter asked Wednesday.
“Well, I think it should have passed before Election Day,” Biden responded. “But I’m not sure that I would be able to have changed the number of very conservative folks who turned out in the red districts who were Trump voters, but maybe. Maybe.”
“You won the state by 10 points,” the reporter pressed.
“I know we did, but also I was running against Donald Trump,” Biden said.
Biden went on to say that Democrats need to start getting results to maintain control of Congress in 2022. He argued that voters were turning to Republicans because they are “upset and uncertain” about the economy and COVID-19.
“What I do know is, though, is people want us to get things done. They want us to get things done, and that’s why I’m continuing to push very hard for the Democratic Party to move along and pass my infrastructure bill and my Build Back Better bill,” Biden said. “Think about what we’re talking about here. 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 — and so, if I’m able to pass and sign into law my Build Back Better initiative, I’m in a position where you’re going to see a lot of those things ameliorated quickly and swiftly.”
Biden said prior to Election Day that he was confident McAuliffe was going to win, and argued that his stalled agenda would not impact the outcome of the race.
“We’re gonna win,” Biden said Tuesday. “I think we’re gonna win in Virginia.”