TERRY MCAULIFFE wanted GLENN YOUNGKIN and DONALD TRUMP to campaign together so badly that when it didn’t happen, McAuliffe simply invented a Youngkin-Trump event that didn’t exist.
“Guess how Glenn Youngkin is finishing his campaign?” McAuliffe told a modest crowd outside a Fairfax brewery Monday night at his final rally. “He is doing an event with Donald Trump here in Virginia.”
That was a lie. Trump wasn’t in Virginia and he never campaigned with Youngkin, though he did make the case for the GOP candidate — “fantastic guy!” — during a brief “tele-rally.”
Thirty miles away, at the Loudoun County Fairgrounds, a crowd several times the size of McAuliffe’s was waiting for Youngkin to take the stage. You got a hint of why McAuliffe was desperate to manufacture the fake Trump event. While McAuliffe has boundless energy — “Sleep when you’re dead!” he likes to say — his Monday audiences in Richmond and Fairfax, where we caught up with him, were modest and listless.
Youngkin’s were large and rollicking, with many of the trappings of a MAGA rally — a similar dad rock playlist, hats and flags and T-shirts paying homage to the former president — but, to the great disappointment of Democrats, not Trump himself.
In Richmond on Monday afternoon, McAuliffe hinted at how Trump’s uncharacteristic self-control in not inserting himself more forcefully into the Virginia race had been a bit of a letdown. “I guess from a political perspective, sure,” McAuliffe told reporters, “I think that would be great.” (Though he quickly added, “But for the sake of the country it’s time to move on.”)
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