Warner: Youngkin 'stirred up the cultural pot' on issues like critical race theory

Warner: Youngkin 'stirred up the cultural pot' on issues like critical race theory
© Greg Nash

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerLiberty University professor charged with alleged sexual battery and abduction of student Five Senate Democrats reportedly opposed to Biden banking nominee The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - House to vote on Biden social spending bill after McCarthy delay MORE (D-Va.) said on Sunday that Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn YoungkinGlenn YoungkinPolitics must accept the reality of multiracial America and disavow racial backlash To empower parents, reinvent schools Pollster says he would tell Democrats running in 2022 that 'we have a problem' MORE (R) “stirred up the cultural pot” while campaigning on issues like critical race theory.

A clip of a recent "PBS NewsHour" interview with longtime Democratic political strategist James Carville was played during “State of the Union” on CNN, in which he claimed that “stupid wokeness” and issues like “defund the police” contributed to Democrats’ weak performance on Election Day.

“Are Democrats too woke, senator?” “State of the Union” co-anchor Dana BashDana BashDemocratic caucus chairs call for Boebert committee assignment removal GOP governor says McCarthy should condemn Boebert's anti-Muslim remarks Democrats optimistic as social spending bill heads to Senate MORE asked Warner.

“Listen, I don't support defund the police. Matter of fact, I think you saw Democrats all around who were successful -- the new mayor of New York, who you're going to have on, has talked about investing additionally in our police forces,” Warner replied.

“Are there ways that we need to make that policing more community-based? Absolutely. The notion of what happened in Virginia -- there is not a school in Virginia that teaches critical race theory. But the governor-elect, Governor Youngkin, stirred up the cultural pot there,” he added. 

Last week, Democrats witnessed weak performances and upsets in state elections in areas considered to be reliably blue. Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffeTerry McAuliffeTo empower parents, reinvent schools Pollster says he would tell Democrats running in 2022 that 'we have a problem' Democrats anxious over Abrams silence on Georgia governor bid MORE, a former Virginia governor, lost the gubernatorial race in his state to Youngkin despite multiple campaign events with high-profile members of his party like President BidenJoe BidenManchin to vote to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for larger businesses Congress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight Senate cuts deal to clear government funding bill MORE.

In New Jersey, Gov. Phil MurphyPhil MurphySununu setback leaves GOP scrambling in New Hampshire House Democrats planning 1,000 events to tout accomplishments Ciattarelli formally concedes in New Jersey to Phil Murphy MORE (D) barely eked out a reelection win in his state, acknowledging on Sunday in an interview with “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddHealth officials warn against jumping to conclusions on omicron Cohen says Weisselberg not 'key' to Trump case Cohen says Trump will lose if he runs in 2024 MORE that the poor performance showed “it's quite clear there's a lot of hurt out there.”

Though McAuliffe used his campaign to tie Youngkin to former President TrumpDonald TrumpBaldwin calls Trump criticism following 'Rust' shooting 'surreal' Haley hits the stump in South Carolina Mary Trump files to dismiss Trump's lawsuit over NYT tax story MORE, Youngkin instead used his platform to talk about issues like education, including how much sway parents should have over school boards. 

He also spoke about the need to eradicate the teaching of critical race theory, a decades-old academic theory usually taught within higher education circles and is not taught in Virginia schools. The theory says that the United States was built on racism and racist structures and that their lasting impacts still remain in place today.

“Critical race theory is not an academic curriculum. It is a political agenda to divide people and actually put people into different buckets and then pit them against one another,” Youngkin said during a Fox News interview earlier this year. “Critical race theory will not be in Virginia’s schools when I serve Virginians as the next governor.”