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Radical climate protesters shout down Jill Biden as she stumps for Terry McAuliffe in Virginia

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Left-wing demonstrators protesting the construction of an oil pipeline attempted to disrupt first lady Jill Biden’s speech Friday evening in Virginia as she stumped for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, according to reports and a number of video clips posted to social media.

McAuliffe, who has previously served as Virginia governor, is running against Republican Glenn Youngkin, and both candidates have brought in big names to help them turn out voters ahead of the Nov. 2 election.

“It’s just another sign of an election that’s ramping up, with a recent Nexstar/Emerson College poll showing that the two are virtually tied,” WRIC reported Saturday, adding the current polling is “a big shift away from early, in the race when McAuliffe held a steady 5 percent lead over” the businessman and first-time candidate.

“Virginia needs someone who will work toward progress, not refight the battles of our past. Virginia, you need somebody that you can trust,” Jill Biden said, going on to praise McAuliffe’s record as governor from 2013-2017.

“This race is about the next chapter of Virginia and our country,” said McAuliffe earlier.

The first lady was one of McAuliffe’s top speakers on the Friday campaign event, which also drew several demonstrators protesting the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which will carry clean-burning natural gas to the area. And although McAuliffe has touted his support for “green energy” during his campaign, he also backed the pipeline project when he was previously serving as governor before leaving office.

“Protestors interrupt remarks from First Lady Dr. Jill Biden during tonight’s Terry McAuliffe rally in Henrico, Va. ‘Reject pipelines protect the future’ was on a banner around the group. Police escorted them away. McAuliffe camp tried to corral press away from protestors,” noted WRIC correspondent Ben Dennis on Twitter, in a post containing a video clip of police confronting the demonstrators.

Reports noted that the protestors only disrupted Biden’s speech for a few minutes before police moved in and escorted them from the rally.

“You gotta love democracy!” Biden said at one point, according to WRIC. “I love the energy of this crowd,” she added at another point, according to video posted online.

Stacey Abrams, who lost her Democratic bid for Georgia governor in 2018 and has since become a voting rights activist, also spoke on behalf of McAuliffe over the weekend. Former President Barack Obama will campaign for McAuliffe next weekend.

Jon Dougherty

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