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Biden tests political muscle with campaign stop for Virginia governor candidate

WorldJul 24, 2021 04:56AM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks before signing the "VOCA (Victims of Crime Act) Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021" during a ceremony in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 22, 2021. REUTERS/Jona 2/2

By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland

ARLINGTON, Va. (Reuters) - President Joe Biden tested his political muscle in the state of Virginia on Friday in a campaign stop for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, who Biden said was running against an "acolyte" of former President Donald Trump.

The off-year state race could be a sign of Democrats' strength or weakness ahead of the 2022 midterm congressional elections, as well as a test of the political strength of the president and his Republican predecessor.

Democrats hope next year to keep control of the U.S. House of Representatives, in which they have a slim majority, and the Senate, in which there is a 50-50 split, while Republicans hope to take over leadership of both chambers.

Biden traveled the short distance from Washington to a park in Arlington, Virginia, for the event for McAuliffe, a long-term fixture in Democratic politics who is running for a second term as Virginia governor in November's election.

"Terry and I share a lot in common. I ran against Donald Trump and so is Terry," Biden said. "I whipped Donald Trump in Virginia and so will Terry."

Trump lost Virginia in both 2016 and 2020.

McAuliffe's opponent in the governor's race is Virginia businessman Glenn Youngkin, a Republican who has been endorsed by Trump. “The guy Terry’s running against is an acolyte of Donald Trump for real,” Biden said. “I don’t know where these guys come from.”

A poll released earlier this month by the Trafalgar Group said the race was tight, with McAuliffe at 46.8% support and Youngkin with 45%. Virginia in recent years has been trending Democratic based on overwhelming support from the northern part of the state. Biden won the state in 2020.

“Terry McAuliffe must be worried about his terrible poll numbers if he’s already calling in political favors this early in the campaign," said Youngkin's spokesperson Macaulay Porter.

Biden kicked off his remarks by tweaking some conservatives who have recently begun recommending vaccination against COVID-19.

"Some of our very conservative friends have had an altar call. They've seen the Lord," he quipped.

The Virginia race is likely to be seen as a referendum on Biden's first year in office and a test of strength for the Democratic president. The party that holds the White House usually loses seats in Congress in the first midterm elections after a new president takes over.

McAuliffe eagerly sought to inject Trump into the race. McAuliffe said of Youngkin: "He's not running for you. He's running for Donald Trump."

McAuliffe, who has raised millions of dollars for Democratic candidates and was a close ally of then-President Bill Clinton, is running four years after ending his first term. State law forbids a governor from running for re-election.

Biden tests political muscle with campaign stop for Virginia governor candidate
 

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Comments (11)
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Jul 26, 2021 12:01AM ET
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Wait, there’s a “sniff” muscle?
Ferdinando Riboni
Ferdinando Riboni Jul 24, 2021 7:48PM ET
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I like Trump say no to Communists Joe
Albert Galindo
Albert Galindo Jul 24, 2021 6:15PM ET
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Uncle Joe now has an Uncle Tom Lemon.
Albert Galindo
Albert Galindo Jul 24, 2021 6:15PM ET
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Uncle Joe now has an Uncle Tom Lemon. Im just say’n
Albert Galindo
Albert Galindo Jul 24, 2021 6:14PM ET
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Uncle Joe now has an Uncle Tom Lemon. Im just say’n
Kevin Avila
Kevin Avila Jul 24, 2021 12:27PM ET
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Dems are f’ed lol
Kevin Avila
Kevin Avila Jul 24, 2021 12:26PM ET
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Dems a f’ed lol
Vlad Lozovskiy
Vlad Lozovskiy Jul 24, 2021 12:14PM ET
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Political muscle?  I saw his political muscle in interview with Don Lemon.  It was pitifull.  The guy can't even say 2 words.
ravi shastri
ravi shastri Jul 24, 2021 5:39AM ET
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Go biden! He offered us vaccines, not bleach!
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Roger Miller
Roger Miller Jul 24, 2021 5:39AM ET
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He’s carried through with plans, and vacine, completed prior to his taking office. He’s only been a vacine salesman.
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Jul 24, 2021 5:39AM ET
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He’s carried through with plans, and vacine, completed prior to his taking office. He’s only been a vacine salesman.
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Jul 24, 2021 5:39AM ET
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He’s carried through with plans, and vacine, completed prior to his taking office. He’s only been a vacine salesman.
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Jul 24, 2021 5:39AM ET
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He’s carried through with plans, and vacine, completed prior to his taking office. He’s only been a vacine salesman.
Mike Brooks
Mike Brooks Jul 24, 2021 5:39AM ET
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No he didn't. DYR! OBiden has offered you Graphene Oxide and spike proteins. T -3 years and counting after the Vax. Good luck.
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Jul 23, 2021 11:15PM ET
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Reuters is arm of the Democratic party, all political articles are biased towards DNC talking points always pro Biden always pro Democrat.
Scot House
Scot House Jul 23, 2021 10:25PM ET
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Bidens only muscle is his diaper
 
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