After enduring a bitter primary against Corey Stewart, I thought Ed Gillespie could look forward to a general election campaign focused on the issues, not cheap campaign stunts and desperation moves.
Unfortunately, Democrat Ralph Northam has decided to drag the gubernatorial campaign into the gutter. Northam just put out a press release condemning a Ku Klux Klan rally in Charlottesville, and tried to score political points off of it. Gillespie’s response is fitting:
— Ed Gillespie (@EdWGillespie) July 7, 2017
— Ofirah Yheskel (@ofirahy) July 7, 2017
This is a cheap tactic. Of course Gillespie is opposed to a KKK rally, and there was no reason to even question that he would be. In fact, when white supremacists rallied in Charlottesville earlier this year, Gillespie was one of the first to speak out:
does not reflect the thoughtfulness and tolerance I see in my fellow Virginians everywhere I go. (2/2)
— Ed Gillespie (@EdWGillespie) May 14, 2017
Northam, and his campaign press operation, should be ashamed of themselves. This press release was an obvious attempt to try to dupe low-information voters into believing Gillespie would struggle to condemn the KKK. That’s a contemptible move, and as Gillespie noted, it’s below the office and the debate that Virginians deserve.
Imagine, for a moment, if this “tactic” was viewed as acceptable. Can Gillespie release a statement condemning every stupid thing said online and call on Northam to do the same? Is guilt by association a legitimate weapon even when there’s no association?
I’ll be honest, I expected better from Northam and his campaign. This is not only amateurish, it borders on character assassination. Politics is ugly, but it doesn’t have to be this ugly.