Less than a week from Election Day in Virginia, Ralph Northam’s campaign continues to take heat for the offensive ad in support of him that portrayed a Gillespie supporter hunting down children. The ad, which was pulled last night due to its offensive content, has even drawn a rebuke from the Washington Post editorial board, which blasted the ad as “vile” while condemning Northam’s failure of leadership in refusing to denounce it. The Post also mentioned a statement by Northam’s campaign trying to distance the candidate from the ad less than a day after his campaign clearly embraced it:
“…It behooves Mr. Northam, while he is offering criticism, to make clear that even though the anti-Gillespie spot was not a product of his campaign, his campaign wants no part of it…
The Latino Victory Fund ad was vile. Among other faults, it glossed over the fact that Mr. Gillespie condemned the white-supremacist violence in Charlottesville far more directly than did President Trump.
‘Ralph Northam would not have run this ad and believes Virginians deserve civility, not escalation,’ a spokesman for Mr. Northam emailed us. That was before the Latino Victory Fund announced Tuesday night that it was pulling the ad, issuing a statement that cited ‘recent events.’ Maybe that was a reference to Tuesday night’s truck attack in Manhattan. It is sad that it took such a tragedy for the group to realize how out of bounds its ad was. It’s also sad that someone who promises to be a governor for all Virginians didn’t call them out right away.”
Northam’s new statement is a complete 180 from the one his campaign put out the day before, that “expressed no misgivings about the Latino Victory Fund ad,” according to the Washington Post:
“A Northam campaign spokeswoman expressed no misgivings about the Latino Victory Fund ad.
‘Independent groups are denouncing Ed Gillespie because he has run the most divisive, fear mongering campaign in modern history,’ said Ofirah Yheskel. ‘It is not shocking that communities of color are scared of what his Trump-like policy positions mean for them.’”
After being met with bipartisan condemnation, even from members of his own party in Virginia, Northam is clearly trying to quietly distance himself from the ad, hoping his flip-flop goes unnoticed. Unfortunately for Northam, Virginians will not be fooled by his pitiful attempt to disown his campaign’s disgusting attacks on Virginia voters after the fact. As his struggling campaign desperately runs away from attacks it inspired, Commonwealth voters continue to see how unfit Northam is to serve as governor.