With voters in Virginia set to go to the polls and polling suggesting that he may be in for a long night, Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe needed to close out his campaign with a bang but opted instead to end things with both feet in his mouth.
Education has been a crushing issue for McAuliffe, who has relied heavily on a racially divisive approach to spur voters into action, and the candidate closed out his campaign on Monday by declaring there are too many white teachers in Virginia. The candidate would go on to pledge to pay room, board, and college tuition for minorities if they teach for five years in a “high demand area” in the state.
“I promise you, we gotta diversify our teacher base here in Virginia,” McAuliffe said. “Fifty percent of the students in Virginia schools K-12 are students of color and yet 80 percent of teachers are white. We all know what we have to do in a school to make everybody feel comfortable in school, so let’s diversify it!”
“So, here’s what I’m going to do. We’ll be the first state in America — if you’ll teach for five years here in Virginia in a high-demand area, whether that be geographic or course work, we will pay room, board, tuition, at any college, any university, any HBCU [historically black colleges and universities] here in the commonwealth of Virginia,” he added.
McAuliffe’s closing message: Va has too many white teachers
“50% of the students at Va. schools K-12, 50% are students of color & yet 80 percent of teachers are white. We all know what we have to do in a school to make everybody feel comfortable in school. So, let’s diversify” pic.twitter.com/TJC2beResW
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) November 1, 2021
During a September debate with Republican opponent Glenn Youngkin, McAuliffe said parents should not be telling schools what they should teach and he has never lived down the controversial remark. He has also insisted again and again that toxic critical race theory is not taught in the state even though the Virginia Department of Education instructed public schools to “embrace critical race theory” in order to “re-engineer attitudes and belief systems” when the Democrat previously served as governor of Virginia from 2014 to 2018.
Adding to his woes, video footage surfaced earlier this week of McAuliffe stating in 2019 that “diversity” and “inclusion” are just “as important” as math and English.
“We don’t do a good job in our education system talking about diversity, inclusion, openness and so forth,” he said at the time. “We don’t. We got our textbooks, but that has to be a big part of how do you fit into the social work of our nation and our fabric. How we deal with one another is to me as important as, you know, your math class or your English class and so forth.”
A recent poll by Cygnal, which is ranked as the most accurate national polling group, showed Youngkin with a significant lead among parents of K-12 children, receiving 56 percent of the votes among parents of school-age children, while McAuliffe lags 17 points behind at 39 percent.
McAuliffe was leading the race early on and his campaign recently brought in heavy Democratic guns like President Joe Biden and the Democratic messiah himself, Barack Obama, to stump for him. Even Vice President Kamala Harris made an appearance, as terrible as she is at campaigning.
In addition to potentially offending every white teacher in the state, McAuliffe also featured American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on Monday, bringing the head of the teachers’ union in to talk about “misinformation” going around on the divides between parents and school boards and to ensure parents that they are “partners” in education, as reported by The Hill reporter Julia Manchester:
Weingarten says there’s a lot of “misinformation” going around on the divides between parents and school boards, adds that parents are “partners” in education #vagov
— Julia Manchester (@JuliaManch) November 1, 2021
It is not exactly as if Weingarten has a stellar reputation with parents, having been on the leading edge of efforts early on during the pandemic to keep schools closed.
Social media wasn’t very kind to McAuliffe, which may be an early reflection of the reception voters give him on Tuesday. A McAuliffe loss in the state would be seen as a significant measuring stick going into the 2022 midterms that is sure to keep Democrats awake at night.
Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:
Who thought this was a good idea?
— Holly Thornton (@beachmamax2) November 2, 2021
Randi, here for the grift.
— Pretty Damn Old (@knockhead) November 2, 2021
It’s like they are just begging to lose. Is there any person less liked by suburban moms with school age children?
— WinstonSmith (@BackporchBobcat) November 2, 2021
If making kids “feel comfortable” required having only teachers of the same race, then that would require segregated schools (or be untenable in a multiracial society).
What most people want to cultivate is being comfortable around all people, without obsessing about race. https://t.co/3WV53jPZiz
— Luke Rosiak (@lukerosiak) November 1, 2021
“I’m gonna fire teachers because they’re white” sounds like a bad way to get their votes, but I am no Democrat superstrategist. https://t.co/iaJLLImHP9
— Nathan Wurtzel (@NathanWurtzel) November 1, 2021
Democrats are trying to hard to find a message on education that isn’t “parents are bad”, so they’ve come up with “too many teachers are white” https://t.co/pJmELVGDQt
— Logan Dobson (@LoganDobson) November 1, 2021
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