The 2021 Virginia gubernatorial election, to be held on November 2, 2021, is just two weeks away and a local TV station in the state conducted interviews with the leading candidate from both parties recently, only to see Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe abruptly end his interview and scold the reporter for not asking “better questions.”
WJLA 7News reporter Nick Minock conducted interviews with the former governor and his Republican rival Glenn Youngkin on Oct. 13 and 14, with each candidate reportedly being given 20 minutes to make his case on why voters should select him to lead Virginia if elected next month.
According to the transcript released by ABC 7, McAuliffe ended the interview after a member of his team claimed they were out of time, saying: “Alright Nick, we are overtime.”
“Hey, I gave you extra time,” McAuliffe told Minock as he stood up and left. “C’mon, man. You should have asked better questions early on. You should have asked questions your viewers care about.”
Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe abruptly ends an interview with local TV station WLJA and criticizes the reporter for not asking “better questions.”pic.twitter.com/HHo6dsySs3
— Alex Salvi (@alexsalvinews) October 20, 2021
WJLA anchor Jonathan Elias offered a disclaimer to viewers during Tuesday’s evening newscast on why Youngkin’s interview was much longer than McAuliffe’s.
“So if you watch those entire interviews on our website, we do want to point out that the Terry McAuliffe interview is shorter than our interview with Glenn Youngkin. That was not by our doing,” Elias said. “Nick offered both candidates 20 minutes exactly to be fair for the interviews. McAuliffe abruptly ended 7News’ interview after just ten minutes and told Nick that he should have asked better questions and that Nick should have asked questions 7News viewers care about. That’s what he said.”
WJLA anchor Jonathan Elias tells viewers that Republican Glenn Youngkin’s interview with the station is longer than Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s because the latter walked off the interview:
— Alex Salvi (@alexsalvinews) October 20, 2021
McAuliffe could be in a sour mood because the early lead he had in the race has been shrinking and a recent poll from the Trafalgar Group found the Democrat at 48% among likely voters, putting him in a dead heat with Youngkin.
Or it could have been a tough line of questioning from the reporter.
Minock pressed McAuliffe, who has vowed to be the “education governor,” on his controversial remarks at last month’s gubernatorial debate, where he said: “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
“So are you saying parents shouldn’t have a voice in their kids’ education?” the reporter asked.
“Sure, parents should have a voice. And parents do have a voice,” McAuliffe responded, before falling back on campaign talking points on his past record on education and future promises.
“So, did you misspeak during that debate?” Minock asked in a follow up.
“No!” McAuliffe shot back. “I was talking about what we need to do, bringing people together. We have the state boards, we have the Board of Education and we have the local school boards who are all involved in this process. But the issue is how do we deliver a world class education.”
Youngkin’s campaign took advantage of the controversy and apparent walk back by releasing a video along with the caption: “Here are 7 times he confirmed he thinks parents should have no say in their child’s education. It’s on tape!”
Terry McAuliffe is now claiming he’s being taken “out of context” — can you believe this guy?
Here are 7 times he confirmed he thinks parents should have no say in their child’s education. It’s on tape! pic.twitter.com/gTPXGYkPfZ
— Glenn Youngkin (@GlennYoungkin) October 19, 2021
After the reporter grilled McAuliffe on his record on crime and how much he would invest in public safety, there was an exchange on COVID-19 vaccines, with McAuliffe calling his opponent an “anti-vaxxer” and saying he would require children to get vaccinated as soon as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approves one for them.
Shortly after this exchange, the candidate’s staffer reportedly interrupted and McAuliffe ended the interview.
The full interview can be seen below:
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