Reminder: Ralph Northam Won After Calling Ed Gillespie Racist
On Friday, news broke that Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) had a photo of him either in blackface or a Ku Klux Klan hood featured in his medical school yearbook. After a week of outrage over Northam's comments endorsing infanticide in cases of botched abortion, only this scandal finally led the governor to apologize.
Yet the news is particularly horrific because Northam ran a smear campaign against Ed Gillespie in 2017, and won the Virginia governor race after tarring Gillespie as a white nationalist. Gillespie had immediately condemned the white nationalists in Charlottesville. In a moment of supreme irony, Northam defended himself on Saturday by referencing his own denunciation of Charlottesville.
The Democrat sent out a disgusting mailer (which I received in the mail) tying both President Donald Trump and Ed Gillespie to the white nationalists in Charlottesville, Va.
Later, an ad presented Gillespie as a genocidal white supremacist. Northam reported the ad as an "in-kind" donation to his campaign.
The current governor at the time, Terry McAuliffe, accused Gillespie of having run the "most racist" campaign in Virginia history. Yes, he suggested Gillespie's campaign was more racist than the secessionist movement supporting slavery, the segregationists, and the opposition to interracial marriage. That's how ridiculous it got.
I don't know if Northam should resign over this. It seems he has decided not to. But at the very least, he should apologize to Ed Gillespie.
Update: Saturday, 3:34 p.m.: On Saturday, Northam defended himself by referencing his own denunciation of Charlottesville.
"What I really want to do is talk about the racism and the hatred and the bigotry that I've fought so long and hard for," he said, clearly meaning "fought so long and hard against."
"When the white supremacists marched into Charlottesville, I was there with then-Governor McAuliffe and our attorney general, denouncing that. And so I have felt very strongly about that."
Given the fact that Gillespie denounced Charlottesville just as wholeheartedly as Northam did, and that Northam nonetheless sent out a mailer tying Gillespie to Charlottesville, this kind of defense is disgusting.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.