Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe blasted a county sheriff who questioned him about ‘defunding police’ following the endorsement of an organization that supports routing money away from law enforcement.
McAuliffe, who has served a previous four-year term as the state’s governor, took umbrage over the question and said he refused to “dignify” it with a response.
“July 20th you accepted an endorsement from the New Virginia Majority. They are a large defund the police organization who want to abolish prisons and ICE. You said that you were proud to accept their endorsement,” the man, whom McAuliffe referred to as law enforcement.
“Well, first of all, sheriff, I am proud to accept any endorsements. I get hundreds and hundreds and hundreds. I can’t, oops, they endorsed me, I don’t know what I’m going to do,” a testy McAuliffe responded.
“Have I ever supported defund the police? Are you out of your mind? I’ve invested in the law enforcement. I just went through 25 minutes of telling you what I do for the police. Not defunded, I funded them,” McAuliffe continued.
“So you’ll never support defunding?” the sheriff countered, which really set off McAuliffe.
“I won’t even dignify that with an answer. If my track record of four years as governor is not enough for you to understand how I feel on law enforcement I will not dignify that with an answer,” the Democrat responded.
“Unbelievable. I don’t believe an answer to either one of those questions,” said the sheriff, which prompted an angry reply from McAuliffe.
“Well, I don’t care what you believe. I’ve got a track record. And I’m proud of that track record,” he said.
The exchange also prompted a response from Matt Wolking, the communications director for GOP gubernatorial candidate Youngkin, who is challenging McAuliffe.
“Terry McAuliffe explodes on a Virginia sheriff when confronted over his support for ending qualified immunity and his embrace of groups that want to defund the police. Treating law enforcement officers with such contempt is disqualifying,” he wrote on Twitter in a post featuring a video of the exchange.
In another post, Wolking pointed to an executive order allowing felons to vote that McAuliffe issued in 2016 when he was governor in which he reportedly informed the same “anti-police” group weeks before the order was made public.
“You gotta love @TerryMcAuliffe trying to distance himself from the ‘defund the police’ group he said he was ‘proud’ to be endorsed by. ‘I don’t know everything they do,’ he claims. He’s so tight with this anti-police group that he told them about his EO 3 weeks in advance,” Wolking tweeted.
The video surfaces as McAuliffe was exposed flouting federal masking mandates during an Amtrak ride from New York City to Washington, D.C.
Video published by Fox News shows the Democrat walking down the aisle en route to his seat while on the phone, maskless. Meanwhile, in the background, a rules placard stating that passengers are required to wear masks while on board can be seen.
The video shows other passengers in the rail car with McAuliffe wearing masks.
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