CNN’s Dana Bash took a shot at Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe for mentioning former President Donald Trump several times by saying she was glad she had two cups with her so she could “keep drinking” each time he mentions Trump’s name.
In their discussion about education, McAuliffe argued his opponent Republican Glenn Youngkin had an agenda that was much too similar to Trump’s. McAuliffe, the former Virginia governor, has also repeatedly accused Youngkin of wanting to be a “Trump wannabe.”
“It is a Donald Trump Betsy DeVos plan of moving money from public to private,” he said on Sunday’s “State of the Union.” “I will never allow that as governor.”
“The issue is and he’s trying to do a back door deal on the Trump,” McAuliffe continued. “He talks about this critical race theory. And I got to be honest with you, that is a dog whistle. We don’t have critical race theory taught in Virginia. He brings up This is a Trump/Betsy DeVos thing on education. I hate to see people divided. I am a uniter. I got us out of the worst economic chaos before I’ll do it again with COVID. And I do it in a bipartisan way.”
Before moving on to her next question, Bash told her guest that all his talk of Trump made her thankful she had at least two drinks ready for all the times he mentioned Trump during the interview.
“You mentioned Donald Trump,” she said. “I’m glad I have two cups here so I can keep drinking when you mention Donald Trump’s name.”
Christian Martinez, the rapid response director for Youngkin, tweeted out Sunday’s “State of the Union” clip as a means of reiterating the campaign’s argument that McAuliffe is too preoccupied with talking about the former president.
Other observers accused Bash of being too hard on McAuliffe throughout their interview. She pressed him on his controversial comment at his recent debate with Youngkin, when he said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” McAuliffe was ripped for lecturing parents who have expressed concerns over school boards promoting progressive curricula like critical race theory, which McAuliffe claimed was “made up” by Youngkin as a way to “divide people.”
McAuliffe defended his education plan, telling Bash he has a $2 billion investment to raise teacher pay, getting at risk, three and four year olds, pre-K, and getting everybody access to broadband.
Bash also wondered why McAuliffe, the former Virginia governor, wasn’t polling better and only had a “slim lead” over Youngkin when Biden ran away with the state in the presidential election.
“This is an off-off year,” McAuliffe said in defense. “It’s not a presidential year turn out. Turn out goes from like 70% down to somewhere in the 40’s but listen we are going to win this race.”