VA Dems go from the gutter to the sewer to attack Gillespie
Republican candidates in 2018 had better get used to the treatment being meted out to Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie.
Even for Democrats, it's a new low.
The Dem candidate, Ralph Northam, has taken to trying to tie Gillespie to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville and connect him to Donald Trump, telling Virginians to "stand up to hate" on election day.
Live look at Ed Gillespie campaign strategy meeting: pic.twitter.com/izcs57hZUv
— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) October 27, 2017
Virginia Democrats tie Trump, Gillespie to white nationalist rallies in Charlottesville in new mailer. https://t.co/dt1sGHyMSX pic.twitter.com/25NggdBpzy
— The Daily Progress (@DailyProgress) October 25, 2017
Wow. Just wow.
The Gillespie campaign fired back at the attacks Friday.
"Northam, the entire Democratic ticket and CNN should condemn this ugly character smear that has no place in our Commonwealth's political discourse," David Abrams, a spokesman for Gillespie's campaign, told Fox News.
Abrams referenced CNN because Fallon is a contributor there.
But Fallon stood by his tweet in an email to Fox News.
"Ed Gillespie should be ashamed of the ads he is running in this campaign," Fallon said. "This is a vile and pathetic attempt to appeal to the Bannon wing of Donald Trump's Republican party."
He said his tweet was in reference to Gillespie's television ads, which also have accused Northam of being soft on MS-13, violent felons and sex offenders.
Asked if it's fair to connect Gillespie to Charlottesville marchers, Northam's campaign also defended the effort.
"For more than 70 days, Ed Gillespie has refused to call out Donald Trump's response to Charlottesville for what it was: disheartening and wrong," Northam campaign spokesman David Turner told Fox News. "When the Charlottesville community wanted leadership to help them heal, he failed. Ed Gillespie should be willing to call out Donald Trump when he's wrong and because he won't, he gives voters a clear choice on Nov. 7."
A 32-year-old counter-protester was killed by a white supremacist during the Charlottesville violence.
And at the time, Gillespie spoke out against the white supremacists who gathered at the University of Virginia.
Trump's "a pox on both your houses" initial response to the violence in Charlottesville will haunt the party for years. It hardly matters whether what Trump said was true (it wasn't), or that Trump strongly condemned the white supremacists a few days later. The narrative has been set, and every Republican candidate will have to find a way to distance himself from it.
But this kind of slime sticks. Voters will be able to show how tolerant and decent they are by voting for Northam against Gillespie. That's a powerful message that Gillespie will have a difficult time countering.