McAuliffe to skip Liberty University gubernatorial debate

virginia election
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Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe will skip out on the gubernatorial debate being hosted by Liberty University, citing the “election integrity” rally being hosted at the Lynchburg school next weekend.

“Upon learning that Glenn Youngkin will be attending an ‘Election Integrity’ rally hosted at Liberty University by insurrectionists who attended the deadly event at the U.S. Capitol, Terry McAuliffe will be declining Liberty University’s invitation to participate in its upcoming gubernatorial forum,” McAuliffe campaign spokesperson Jake Rubenstein said.

“This ‘Election Integrity’ event at Liberty University will be providing Glenn Youngkin with a platform to peddle Donald Trump’s debunked lies and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. These types of events are unpatriotic, diminish respect for the Commonwealth and our country around the world, and are an insult to the men and women fighting right now to protect our sacred democracy,” Rubenstein said.

This will be the second scheduled debate that will be scuttled over politics.

Youngkin, the Republican nominee, skipped a scheduled July 24 Virginia Bar Association debate, citing a contrived “conflict of interest” for the VBA to have “PBS NewsHour” anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff as the moderator, over a $250 donation by Woodruff to the Haiti Relief Fund in 2010.

The Haiti Relief Fund was a joint fundraising effort of the Clinton Foundation and former President George W. Bush to raise money for recovery and rebuilding efforts after a hurricane devastated Haiti.

Woodruff moderated VBA gubernatorial debates in 2013 and 2017.

The rub in 2021: “It would also be a conflict of interest to have former Clinton Foundation board member Terry McAuliffe being ‘questioned’ by a Clinton Foundation donor,” Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter said.

“Upon winning the Democratic nomination, Terry quickly accepted invitations to participate in five debates in five different regions of the Commonwealth, and he has been firm in his commitment to discussing his plans to create good paying jobs, address rising health care costs, and ensure every Virginia child receives a world-class education. Glenn Youngkin has already skipped the Virginia Bar Association Debate — the first candidate of either party in 36 years to do so,” Rubenstein said.

“Terry continues to urge Glenn Youngkin to withdraw from and condemn the ‘Election Integrity’ rally being held at Liberty University next week. He hopes Glenn will agree to join him at the AARP Virginia debate hosted by WTVR in Richmond and the Norfolk State University debate that both candidates were invited to well over a month ago,” Rubenstein said.

Story by Chris Graham

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