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McAuliffe rolls out new ad hitting back at Youngkin on education

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin and Democratic Terry McAuliffe
Greg Nash

Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe hit back at Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin’s recent attacks on education-related issues on Friday, releasing an ad hitting Youngkin on education. 

The ad, titled “Starving Schools,” ties Youngkin to former President Trump and former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos while claiming Youngkin’s education plan would result in massive cuts to Virginia public schools. 

McAuliffe’s campaign pointed to various studies conducted by left-leaning advocacy groups that say Youngkin’s plan would cut $10 billion in education funding and lead to the elimination of 43,000 teacher positions in the state. 

The 30-second ad is the McAuliffe team’s latest effort to tie Youngkin to Trump, specifically to his former Education secretary. Campaign filings show DeVos, whose education policies were slammed by Democrats during the Trump administration, donated $12,500 to Youngkin’s gubernatorial campaign. 

Youngkin’s campaign hit back in a statement accusing McAuliffe of lying. 

“It’s fitting that the same week one of his ads was given 4 Pinocchios by The Washington Post for being ‘flat-out false,’ Terry McAuliffe is launching a new ad based on lies that have already been debunked by PolitiFact,” Youngkin campaign spokesperson Macaulay Porter told The Hill. “The truth is that Glenn Youngkin’s plan includes the largest education budget in Virginia history, pay raises for teachers that McAuliffe has been talking about for 12 years but failed to deliver, and critical investments in repairing crumbling schools.”

Youngkin’s campaign released their own ad later on Friday hitting McAuliffe’s tax plan.

The ads comes as Youngkin and Virginia Republicans have gone on offense on education and parents’ rights issues. The Youngkin team most recently zeroed in on McAuliffe’s comments at the last gubernatorial debate in which he said he did not believe parents should tell schools what to teach students. Youngkin ran with the soundbite, releasing an ad less than a day after the debate. The campaign also launched a family-led mobilization effort dubbed “Parents Matter.” On top of that, the Republican State Leadership Committee PAC and the American Principles Project PAC released ads hitting McAuliffe over the comments. 

A Youngkin campaign spokesperson told The Hill that McAuliffe’s comments will have “serious ramifications” in the race. 

But McAuliffe has brushed off the attacks as “a dog whistle.”

“Why are we doing this to our students? All we want to do is give them a quality education,” McAuliffe told CNN. “They’re desperate. This all goes back to critical race theory, which is not taught here in Virginia.”

Tags Betsy DeVos Donald Trump
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