Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe on Tuesday called on GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin to drop out of an event billed as an "election integrity" rally he was slated to attend later this month.
"Glenn, enough is enough. I call on you to immediately withdraw from this ‘election integrity’ rally and disavow this dangerous, deadly conspiracy theory once and for all," McAuliffe said in a statement first obtained by The Hill.
"Virginians deserve a leader who will tell the truth, act with integrity, and respect the office they seek to hold. Glenn has shown, yet again, that he is no such leader," the former Virginia governor continued. "When given the opportunity to choose Virginians or Donald Trump, Glenn chooses Trump every time. If Glenn has any respect for the truth or Virginians, he will drop out of this event immediately."
Youngkin's spokesman Matt Wolking responded to McAuliffe's call, citing the former governor's stance on voter ID.
“Terry McAuliffe opposes requiring a photo ID to vote, which undermines the integrity of our elections and makes it easier to cheat," Wolking said. "Glenn Youngkin will restore Virginia’s photo ID law and make sure it is easy for every eligible person to vote and harder to cheat.”
The event's invitation on the Virginia 5th District GOP's website surfaced on Monday, saying that Youngkin was slated to attend the Election Integrity Regional Rally's banquet at Liberty University on Aug. 7 along with Winsome Sears, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, and attorney general candidate Jason Miyares.
The rally, which is taking place on Aug. 6 and 7, features a number of prominent Virginia Republicans including Reps. Ben ClineBenjamin (Ben) Lee ClinePulling back the curtain on DC's rulemakers? Virginia Democrats seek to tie Youngkin to Trump's election claims McAuliffe calls on Youngkin to drop out of 'election integrity' rally MORE and Bob Good. According to the invitation, the event includes seminars on a number of topics such as voter data, registration, election observers and officials, and fundraising.
Youngkin launched an “Election Integrity Task Force” in February prior to winning to the Republican nomination for governor. He said the task force is designed to establish legal voting standards in election processes.
McAuliffe and his Democratic allies in turn have argued the task force is aimed at promoting former President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE's unfounded claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him.
Youngkin said in a recent interview that "of course" Biden was the legitimate president.
"I’m saying, of course! He’s [Biden's] our president. He slept in the White House last night. He’s addressed a joint session of Congress. He’s signing executive orders that I wish he wasn’t signing," Youngkin told Bloomberg Radio.
Additionally, Youngkin’s allies have repeatedly pointed to video of 2004 comments from McAuliffe about the highly contested 2000 presidential election in which he said Democrats won the election. Former Vice President Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreTrump's election fraud claims pose risks for GOP in midterms Don't 'misunderestimate' George W. Bush Why the pro-choice movement must go on the offensive MORE won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College, and thus the presidency, to former President George W. Bush. The 2000 contest is considered to be one of the closest in U.S. history and culminated in the Bush v. Gore Supreme Court decision.