Former President Donald Trump has steered clear of Virginia during the tight gubernatorial race, but his No. 2 journeyed to the Commonwealth on Thursday.
Former Vice President Mike Pence strolled into battleground Loudoun County to discuss parents’ rights and school choice five days before big elections in Virginia.
“Make your choice Virginia. Let’s choose educational freedom for this generation and the next,” Pence told a crowd at Patrick Henry College, 50 miles west of Washington, D.C.
Pence praised the ongoing pushback against local school boards, deeming it a “moment in the life of our nation when we can choose educational freedom.”
His comments come as Republicans zero in on the issue of parents’ rights in public education. Affluent Loudoun County has become the epicenter of protests against school boards on issues such as critical race theory (CRT) and transgender policies.
Last week, Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin called for an investigation into the handling and potential cover-ups of sexual assault allegations in local schools this year.
“To every Loudoun County parent that is here today and all of you that are looking on, thank you for caring so much about your children’s education,” Pence said. “Make no mistake about it, you’re making a difference for your kids. With families here in Loudoun County, standing up for educational excellence and accountability, you are making a difference in the life of the nation.”
Just look at this shift among parents in the Virginia race.
From +10 McAuliffe to +14 Youngkin in two weeks.
Again this is just one poll, but that is the kind of shift that has to be sounding the alarms with McAuliffe's team. pic.twitter.com/eYpEY9Gg89
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) October 28, 2021
On the campaign trail, Youngkin opposes a divisive CRT that deems America racist to the core. He says we should teach history, just not force children “to view everything through a lens of race.”
“We will teach all history, the good and the bad,” the Republican said this week. “America has fabulous chapters and it’s the greatest country in the world, but we also have some abhorrent chapters in our history, we must teach them.”
Related: Virginia Gubernatorial Race Heats Up
Pence called out Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe for comments he made two years ago, when he said “diversity and inclusion” were just as important to teach kindergarteners as math and English.
McAuliffe, who claims CRT is not being taught despite evidence to the contrary, also notoriously quipped in a recent debate that parents do not deserve a say in what schools teach their children.
A Fox News poll released Thursday evening showed a massive swing toward Youngkin, who is now up 8 among likely voters. This is a 13-point rise over the past fortnight, as an unhinged McAuliffe scrambles to bring in disconnected national Democrats and rarely ventures far from the nation’s capital for events.