Morning Joe Miffed VA Governor's Race Close with Youngkin's 'Wild & Dangerous' Views


On Morning Joe, Willie Geist stopped short of stamping his feet. But he was clearly miffed that the Virginia governor’s race is close—with one recent poll even showing Republican Glenn Youngkin with a lead over former Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Geist, pinch-hitting for Joe and Mika, who had the morning off on Friday, forcefully asked Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Hillary’s failed 2016 running mate, why the race is close despite Youngkin’s “pretty wild” and “dangerous” views?

While the Democrats have aerobically tried to tie Youngkin to Trump, Youngkin has run a happy-warrior campaign with a lot of positive TV ads. 

GEIST: Senator, let me ask you about the race. And we take a little step back from this specific issue, and ask you why it’s so close? We had Governor McAuliffe on a couple of day ago, on Morning Joe, giving his analysis of that. He’s a relatively popular figure in the state. Why is Glenn Youngkin, who for the reasons you laid out, has some pretty wild views on things, and dangerous views as we talk about elections. Why is it so close?

Kaine’s only explanation for the close race was that in the off-year Virginia governor’s race, the typically low turnout tends to hurt Democrats. (Ahem: that doesn’t explain pre-election polls over the phone!) 

KAINE: You know, Willie, I know this pretty well because I was governor from 2006 to 2010, and I was in an extremely close race right till the end. 

Here’s a challenge that we always face in Virginia. Presidential year, we had huge turn-out, you know, 70% turn-out. Then we had a have a governor’s race the next year, kind of a unique off-year election, and turnout tends to drop into the 40s—might be 47, 45, 42. And when the turn-out drops, it creates challenges for Democrats, because we usually want bigger turnout.

Kaine ignored the obvious explanation: that Biden’s unpopularity—due to his failures on Afghanistan, the border, and the economy—is dragging down Democrats everywhere. That’s something that even McAuliffe has acknowledged!

So what were the “wild and dangerous” views that Geist claimed that Youngkin holds? Kaine exclusively cited Youngkin’s focus on election integrity. The segment began with a clip from a Virginia rally in which people pledged allegiance to a flag reportedly used during the January 6th Capitol riot.

However, as Geist himself acknowledged, Youngkin “pretty clearly distanced himself” from the rally, and issued a statement calling it “weird, and wrong, to pledge allegiance to a flag connected to January 6th.”  

Kaine also tried to make the case that since Youngkin allegedly “promote[d] the big lie,” by “questioning the results of November 2020,” he is “responsible for the consequences of the big lie.”

But even the Washington Post—which has endorsed McAuliffe—has acknowledged that Youngkin:

  • Has said there wasn’t widespread fraud in Virginia.
  • Said he would have certified results of the presidential election.
  • Has acknowledged the legitimacy of Biden’s election.

So who’s lying now, Senator Kaine?Willie Geist Tim Kaine MSNBC Morning Joe 10-15-21

And in any case, is this really the standard that Kaine wants to set: that candidates are responsible for the statements and actions of all of their supporters? Would Kaine and other Dems really want to be held responsible for the actions of BLM, the defund-the-police crowd, the looters and rioters, etc? 

Note: Willie Geist is normally the Morning Joe voice of relative reason and moderation. So it was particularly disappointing to hear him unjustly accuse Youngkin of extremism.

Morning Joe’s Willie Geist warning of Glenn Youngkin’s “dangerous views” was sponsored by Carfax and GlaxoSmithKline.

Here’s the transcript.

MS

NBC
Morning Joe
10/15/21
6:30 am EDT

VOTE VETS ANTI-YOUNGKIN COMMERCIAL: [host at Virginia rally] I also want to invite Kim, from Chesapeake, she’s carrying an American flag, an American flag that was carried at the peaceful rally with Donald J. Trump on January 6th.

VOICEOVER: So is it this one?

HOST: Donald J. Trump on January 6th.

VOICEOVER: Or is it this one, Glenn, the flag that was desecrated when it was used to beat cops? 

HOST: I ask you all to rise, and join us.

WILLIE GEIST: Youngkin responded yesterday.

GLENN YOUNGKIN: I wasn’t involved, so I don’t know. But if that is the case, then we shouldn’t pledge allegiance to that flag, and oh by the way, I’ve been so clear: there is no place for violence: none, none, in America today.

GEIST: Youngkin condemned people involved in that rally on Wednesday. Later in a statement called it, quote, “weird, and wrong, to pledge allegiance to a flag connected to January 6th.”  

. . . 

So that rally was not attended by Glenn Youngkin, but President Trump did call in to that rally, where they stood and pledged allegiance to a flag used at the attack on the Capitol on January 6th. Youngkin, as you can see, pretty clearly distancing himself. What’s the impact on the race here?

TIM KAINE: Well, Willie, look, if you promote the big lie, then you’re responsible for the consequences of the big lie. And Glenn Youngkin has spent his entire campaign telling people that election integrity is the biggest issue, that we need to audit elections, questioning the results of November 2020. 

. . . 

What’s Glenn Youngkin going to do if there’s ever an attack like this again? Is he going to try to stop it? Or is he going to be glad, because he is promoting lies about election integrity in this country. This is a grave, grave issue that  Virginians are worried about it now.

GEIST: Senator, let me ask you about the race. And we take a little step back from this specific issue, and ask you why it’s so close? We had Governor McAuliffe on a couple of day ago, on Morning Joe, giving his analysis of that. He’s a relatively popular figure in the state. Why is Glenn Youngkin, who for the reasons you laid out, has some pretty wild views on things, and dangerous views as we talk about elections. Why is it so close?

KAINE: You know, Willie, I know this pretty well because I was governor from 2006 to 2010, and I was in an extremely close race right till the end. 

Here’s a challenge that we always face in Virginia. Presidential year, we had huge turn-out, you know, 70% turn-out. Then we had a have a governor’s race the next year, kind of a unique off-year election, and turnout tends to drop into the 40s—might be 47, 45, 42. And when the turn-out drops, it creates challenges for Democrats, because we usually want bigger turnout.



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