Campaign

Harris makes a final pitch for McAuliffe

Vice President Harris made a trip to Norfolk, Va., on Friday evening to campaign for Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe as part of a final push by top Democrats to boost him in an unexpectedly tight race.

Harris used her appearance to urge voters not to be complacent. She described the Virginia election as a “bellwether” of what will happen in future elections in 2022 and 2024.

“The power is in your hands and elections matter,” Harris told the crowd. “If you hadn’t did what you did in 2020, I wouldn’t be standing here.”

Harris described McAuliffe as a champion for abortion rights, health coverage, LGBT rights, voting rights and veterans, and said he would take climate change seriously. She described the election as a binary choice of whether the U.S. moves forward or “we turn back the clock.”

Harris briefly referenced the results of the 2016 presidential election, urging would-be Democratic voters to head to the polls as McAuliffe goes up against Republican Glenn Youngkin.

“When a lot of us thought the right thing will happen, it’ll be all right,” she said, without mentioning former President Trump by name. “One of the lessons we learned among many: we can take nothing for granted, ever.”

“Progress never comes without hard work and often a fight,” she said.

Musician Pharrell Williams, who is a native of Virginia Beach, spoke before Harris took the stage Friday night, as did current Gov. Ralph Northam (D).

Friday’s appearance is expected to be the last from Harris or President Biden for McAuliffe before the election next Tuesday, Nov. 2. Biden appeared at an event for McAuliffe earlier this week before departing for an overseas trip to Europe.

Harris, a key asset for Democrats on the campaign trail, last stumped for McAuliffe in October and also headlined a fundraiser for him in September.

Polls show a tight race between McAuliffe, who previously served as the governor of Virginia between 2014 and 2018, and Youngkin, a businessman.

A Washington Post-Schar School survey released Friday found 49 percent of likely voters in Virginia back McAuliffe while 48 percent support Youngkin.

Some Democrats had hoped the House would pass a bipartisan infrastructure package before the gubernatorial election to offer McAuliffe a boost, but Biden left for Europe on Thursday falling short of securing a vote. Progressives have refused to vote for the infrastructure bill without movement on a larger social spending and climate package, which came more into focus Thursday.

Tags 2021 Virginia governor election Donald Trump Glenn Youngkin Joe Biden Terry McAuliffe Virginia
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