Democrat Sen. Tim Kaine (VA) backtracked on his call for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) to resign over his blackface scandal, telling the Washington Post he is “glad he didn’t listen to me.”
Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s failed vice presidential candidate, joined fellow former governor Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) in a 2019 letter calling on Northam to resign as a picture of the governor in either blackface or a Ku Klux Klan robe resurfaced from a college yearbook.
“After we watched his press conference today, we called Governor Northam to tell him that we no longer believe he can effectively serve as Governor of Virginia and that he must resign,” the senators and Scott said in their statement.
“Governor Northam has served the people of the Commonwealth faithfully for many years, but the events of the past 24 hours have inflicted immense pain and irrevocably broken the trust Virginians must have in their leaders,” they continued. “He should step down and allow the Commonwealth to begin healing.”
Northam first apologized for being in the photo but later reversed himself saying, “he does ‘not believe’ he was in the photo and further claimed he had never seen the photo from his page before.” He also claimed he did not know why his friends called him “coonman” in college.
Kaine went on to tell the Post that Northam is “the most consequential Virginia governor of the modern era.”
At the time of the scandal, many Democrats called on the governor to resign, including former Gov. Douglas Wilder (D), who became the Commonwealth’s first black governor since Reconstruction and the first black governor popularly elected to any state in the country, who said, “it is difficult for anyone who watched the press conference today to conclude that he has any other choice … but to resign.”
I stated, earlier, that Gov. Northam’s continuing in office was his choice to make. It is difficult for anyone who watched the press conference today to conclude that he has any other choice … but to resign.
— L. Douglas Wilder (@GovernorWilder) February 3, 2019
Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), who failed in his attempt at a second term in the office, also reversed himself on his call for Northam to resign during the 2021 campaign and began campaigning with the governor. McAuliffe at the time said it was “racist, unacceptable and inexcusable at any age,” but during the campaign simply called it a “dumb mistake.”
Northam was McAuliffe’s lieutenant governor and succeeded him in office.
Wilder, who refused to endorse McAuliffe and who now serves on Republican Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin’s transition team, slammed McAuliffe at the time saying, “The people of Virginia have not forgotten, they’re not stupid. They’re not fooled, they’re not being hoodwinked.”
Youngkin’s campaign also ran an ad juxtaposing McAuliffe’s flip-flop.
Northam’s term ends January 15 when Youngkin is set to be sworn into office. Virginia also elected Republicans for lieutenant governor and attorney general, ending full Democrat control of statewide offices.
Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.