November 27, 2021

In Virginia, Barack Obama accuses Republicans of threatening democracy

Former US President Barack Obama on Saturday, October 23 accused Republicans of threatening democracy ahead of a particularly close local election, seen as a national test on Joe Biden’s popularity as the White House tenant negotiates bitterly for a massive investment plan with Congress.

Mr. Obama had traveled to Richmond, in the conservative south of the state, to support Democrat Terry McAuliffe, 64, candidate for governor of Virginia and who is neck and neck with the pro Republican Trump Glenn Youngkin, 54, ahead of the November 2 poll.

In front of a few hundred enthusiastic young activists, gathered at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Mr. Obama said Mr. Yougkin would cut teaching positions, reduce access to abortion and bring his support the claims of former President Donald Trump, who claims the presidential election was stolen from him.

“To my knowledge, the main message from Terry’s opponent is that he’s a guy like everyone else because he wears fleece. And he accuses the schools of brainwashing our children, said Mr. Obama. He also said he wanted to have the voting machines used in the last ballot checked. (…) And we are supposed to believe that he will defend our democracy? “

Mr Biden won Virginia 10 points clear in 2020 and Republicans haven’t won an election in that state since 2009, but Mr McAuliffe’s lead in the polls has melted over the weeks, and it has now reached the margin of error. Mr. Obama, who remains the most popular Democrat in the United States five years after leaving the White House, wanted to galvanize African-American voters, a key electorate in this southern state, especially in the region of Richmond where the One of the most important symbols of the country’s slave past, the statue of Confederate General Robert Lee was only unbolted last month.

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Joe Biden expected in Virginia next week

Grateful to understand why we can be ” tiredness “ of politics, he argued: « Si John Lewis [figure de la lutte pour les droits civiques mort en 2020] was not tired, we are not allowed to be tired. “

Prior to Mr. Obama, First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and one of the Democratic Party’s rising stars, Stacey Abrams, traveled to Virginia to campaign for Mr. McAuliffe. The President of the United States, Joe Biden, is expected there next week.

A victory for Mr McAuliffe would give momentum to the massive investment program that the left wing of the Democratic Party is seeking to push through Congress. Failure to do so could prompt more caution from the moderate wing of the party, which is still reluctant to approve some $ 3 trillion (around € 2,575 billion) in spending.

Mr Youngkin has focused on schools, campaigning against the mandatory mask hated by Donald Trump voters. So far, he has carefully avoided supporting the claims of the former president, who claims the election was stolen from him. Mr. Trump did not visit Virginia. He virtually joined on October 13 a pro-Youngkin campaign rally attended by his former advisor Steve Bannon.

The World with AFP