McAuliffe hits Youngkin on abortion in new ad

Virginia gubernatorial candidates Terry McAuliffe (D) and Glenn Youngkin (R)
Greg Nash

Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe hit his Republican opponent on abortion in a new ad released on Wednesday, resurfacing Youngkin’s past comments on the issue. 

The television ad, titled “Caught,” features footage of Youngkin from June in which he says he cannot risk talking about his anti-abortion stance on the campaign trail because it may turn off independent voters in Virginia. 

The Hill was the first outlet to see the ad. 

The latest effort to put Youngkin in an extreme light on the issue of abortion comes after the left-wing news site, The American Independent, surfaced the comments from a campaign event in June. 

“I’m going to be really honest with you. The short answer is in this campaign, I can’t. When I’m governor and I have a majority in the House we can start going on offense. But as a campaign topic, sadly, that in fact won’t win my independent votes that I have to get,” Youngkin said. “So you’ll never hear me support Planned Parenthood, what you’ll hear me talk about is actually taking back the radical abortion policies that Virginians don’t want.” 

Youngkin’s campaign said last month that the footage was “deceptively recorded.” His campaign fired back again on Wednesday, releasing its own ad titled “No Limit,” which tied McAuliffe to efforts aimed at loosening restrictions on third-trimester abortions. 

“Terry McAuliffe said he’s proud to be endorsed by radical groups that support taxpayer-funded abortions up until the moment of birth,” said a Youngkin campaign spokeswoman. “The majority of Virginians do not support McAuliffe’s extreme pro-abortion agenda. Glenn Youngkin supports funding for women’s health centers, believes that fewer abortions is a good thing, and supports exceptions for rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is in danger.”

The ads come as polls show a competitive race. The Cook Political Report rates the Virginia race as “lean Democratic.” A Roanoke College poll released last week showed McAuliffe with an 8-point lead over Youngkin, while a Virginia Commonwealth University poll released last week showed McAuliffe with a 3-point lead. 

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