CNN sounds alarm on Terry McAuliffe's campaign blunders: He 'lets the tongue get out ahead of the brain'

CNN sounded the alarm Monday over recent campaign blunders made by Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, suggesting his comments could jeopardize his already slim margins in the race against Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin. 

During a discussion about the race on CNN's "Inside Politics," host John King admitted it was "noteworthy" to see a Democratic candidate playing cleanup so close to the end of the race considering Virginia had been trending more and more towards Democrats. He specifically pointed to comments McAuliffe made about President Joe Biden's downward trending poll numbers and parents not having a say on what their kids learn in school as the reason his edge over Youngkin could be in jeopardy.

"Election Day in Virginia is three weeks from tomorrow, and the off-year governor’s race is always viewed as a bellwether of the national mood," King said to begin the segment. "The commonwealth is trending blue in recent years. President Biden, for example, won it by ten points just last year." 

"So it is noteworthy that the Democratic candidate is playing a bit of cleanup entering the stretch, trying to move past a comment on a call he thought was private that President Biden’s sagging poll numbers were hurting him," he added before playing a clip of the recorded call, in which McAuliffe admitted Biden was "unpopular" in Virginia.

King turned to panel member Dan Merica, who dismissed McAuliffe's comments on Biden as a strategy to get Democrats more focused on the race. 

"The flip side though is if you have a discouraged Democrat who maybe thinks, 'Terry McAuliffe, he was governor before, he's kind of old school, I wanted somebody new, and then he dissed my president,' then you don’t vote. Isn’t that the flip side, that you actually contribute to Democratic disenchantment?" King said. 

Panel member Eva McKend claimed McAuliffe's comments on Biden were akin to Youngkin trying to keep a distance from former President Donald Trump who remains relatively unpopular in the state he lost in both of his election races.

"Terry McAuliffe sometimes lets the tongue get out ahead of the brain," King said as he turned the discussion to McAuliffe saying in a recent debate with Youngkin that he doesn't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach, appearing to reference the pushback on the teaching of critical race theory.

"Terry McAuliffe would like to clean up his words, again, as he did on the call. But it is difficult in a state where a close election will be determined in the fast-growing Northern Virginia suburbs, where you have a lot of parents and a lot of debate about critical race theory, about what’s being taught in schools, to have a candidate for governor say I don’t want to listen to parents or I would side with teachers over parents. Stepping in it," King added. 

"Clearly a misstep," panel member Margaret Talev said in agreement. 

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