The new empty chair: McAuliffe walks out on election interview

Just imagine what Clint Eastwood could do with this image. A local ABC affiliate in Virginia gave the gubernatorial candidates 20 minutes  with reporter Nick Minock for one-on-one interviews as the campaign enters its final fortnight. Apparently, Terry McAuliffe had somewhere else to be rather than finish up the interview (via Twitchy):

“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 during Tuesday’s evening newscast. “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.”

So what were the questions that McAuliffe thinks Virginians find uninteresting and unimportant? The transcript from WJLA shows Minock asking about …

  • McAuliffe’s declaration that “parents shouldn’t be telling schools what to teach”
  • State mandates on education topics and methods
  • Joe Biden and Merrick Garland making parent-school board disputes a federal law enforcement issue
  • Crime rate increases during McAuliffe’s first term
  • Public-safety funding
  • Vaccine mandates on public and private sectors, as well as schools

Those seem like pretty significant topics in this election, and certainly many Virginia voters will want to know about those issues — especially now. McAuliffe responded in detail to them as well, but it became clear that he didn’t especially like being scrutinized. Just before he walked out halfway through the interview, McAuliffe launched into the campaign commercial he apparently thought WJLA would allow the interview to be:

“Yea. If the CDC says these are safe. Then you bet. We need to do everything we can to end it. And there’s a real difference in this race. He is an anti vaxxer. As I say I worry about a variant coming along that could become vaccine resistant if we don’t stop it as fast as we can. I can’t keep schools open. We just saw a school close in Prince William yesterday. 200 hundred children in quarantine. 32 children I think it was have COVID now. We have to be smart and follow the science. And if we do that we will keep our schools open. I’m worried about women in the workforce. 5.4 million have lost their job. We need to do a better job. We have to keep our schools open, we have to do better on childcare. I mean a woman working today in healthcare today makes $7.25 an hour – home healthcare worker. She has to work 48 weeks just to pay for childcare for one child. These are the issues I’m into. I want to raise the minimum wage. I want paid sick days. I want family medical leave. Glenn Youngkin is against every one of those. He is a Donald trump right wing agenda. He will ban abortions. Your viewers should be very clear on this. He wants to ban abortions here in Virginia. He says election integrity is the number one issue. No, it isn’t. Healthcare, COVID, education, job creation.”

It should be noted that Glenn Youngkin didn’t have any trouble fielding questions from Minock. If Virginians want a governor who will stick to the task and finish it properly, then they know which candidate to choose. If they want a self-absorbed prima donna whose ego is so fragile that it can’t handle twenty minutes of scrutiny and accountability, well … I guess they know which candidate to choose. They’d be better off with the empty chair than with McAuliffe, though.