Former Virginia Gov. McDonnell Credits Parents for Youngkin’s Victory

Former Virginia Gov. McDonnell Credits Parents for Youngkin's Victory Former Virginia Gov. McDonnell Credits Parents for Youngkin's Victory

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. (Andrew Harnik/AP File)

By Charlie McCarthy | Wednesday, 03 November 2021 06:01 PM

Virginia's most recent Republican governor said the state's parents gave Glenn Youngkin a surprising victory over former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate.

Former Gov. Bob McDonnell, who left office in 2014, was interviewed by WUSA 9 during Tuesday night's election coverage. He said progressive school board issues such as critical race theory and transgender bathroom policies ''captured the vision and the hearts of suburban parents around the state.''

Parents were offended by ''the words of Terry McAuliffe, bolstered by the school board, that really seemed to say, 'Hey, parents, sit on the sidelines. Don't tell us how to run our schools, what books to put in the library, and what our curriculum is. We can do it, because we're the government,''' McDonnell told WUSA9. ''And I think that's such a bridge too far.''

Critical race theory is defined by the Encyclopaedia Britannica as the concept in which race is a socially constructed category ingrained in U.S. law intended to maintain social, economic and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites. It holds that U.S. society is inherently or systemically racist.

Pressed by two WUSA co-anchors on whether McAuliffe actually told parents to ''stay on the sidelines,'' McDonnell held his ground.

McAuliffe ''doubled down,'' McDonnell said. ''I think that's exactly what he meant and that's what he said.''

Asked if critical race theory was really being taught in Virginia schools, McDonnell said his own kids were grown and he did not have children in school, but many other residents do.

''There are clearly parents who come home and believe that younger people are being asked to view the world through a lens of race,'' McDonnell said. ''I don't know what you call it. … That's a question for parents and the programmatic stuff for the school boards … but what they heard is, we are being asked to look at things in a way that doesn't seem right.''

McDonnell also said Youngkin's campaign was similar to his in 2009.

''I'm obviously pleased with the results,'' said McDonnell, who added that he campaigned with Youngkin and other GOP candidates.

''The energy was palpable. The enthusiasm for the agenda that Glenn Youngkin laid out, which really was a kitchen table of issues, kind of the campaign I ran 12 years ago, which is keeping taxes low, gas, food, taxes on veterans. Promoting public safety, and giving some high-quality options for people in the public school system.''

The former governor also blasted McAuliffe for trying to make former President Donald Trump a campaign issue.

''He's not on the ballot,'' McDonnell said. ''He's been out of office for 10 months now.''

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