Va. Dem gubernatorial candidate McAulliffe won’t reject endorsement from ‘defund the police’ group

“A lot of people endorse me, so be it,” Democrat says in tense interview.
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Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe
Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said parents shouldn't be "telling schools what to teach."
(Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAulliffe this week refused to reject the endorsement of a progressive group in the state that has in the past supported “defunding the police.”

In a tense interview with local WAVY-10 journalists during a roundtable event for McAulliffe and his Republican competitor Glenn Youngkin, McAulliffe was asked about his earlier endorsement by the New Virginia Majority, a progressive group that has supported the “defund the police” movement in the past. 

McAulliffe has defended the endorsement in the past; this week he was asked whether he was “still proud” to have the group’s support. 

Dodging the question, McAulliffe responded: “The issue is, when I was governor, I had the lowest crime rate of any state in the United States of America.” He went on to list his support for law enforcement during his first term as Virginia’s governor as well as his opposition to defunding police. 

Pressed on the endorsement of the New Virginia Majority, McAulliffe repeatedly refused to comment directly on it. 

The refusal was touted by Youngkin’s campaign. “Terry McAuliffe refuses to reject the endorsement he received from a radical ‘defund the police’ group, New Virginia Majority,” Youngkin’s campaign stated on Twitter. “He said he's proud of it! Unbelievable.”

McAulliffe previously served as Virginia’s governor from 2014-2018.