Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe really, really, really wanted former President Donald Trump to campaign with his GOP opponent in the Old Dominion.
McAuliffe, the former governor seeking another term (Virginia does not allow governors to serve consecutive terms), did everything he could to tie Republican nominee, Glenn Youngkin, to Trump, who lost Virginia to Biden by more than 10 points in 2020.
Democrats and their sympathizers across the state were determined to convince every voter that Youngkin was nothing short of a tried-and-true MAGA warrior — and a racist one to boot. They even went so far as to orchestrate a racist hoax against Youngkin, attempting to tie him to Charlottesville-style white supremacists whom the media have repeatedly — and lyingly — claimed Trump called "very fine people."
Now, with polls showing Youngkin holding a slight lead in a state where a Republican has not won statewide office since 2009, Team McAuliffe and the Democratic Party are getting increasingly desperate.
So it likely surprised no one when McAuliffe blatantly lied about a nonexistent Youngkin-Trump event Monday night as he wrapped up his campaign.
According to Politico, the Democratic nominee "simply invented" an event that did not exist. That's right, McAuliffe straight-up lied as he sought to once again taint Youngkin with Trump-ness.
As Politico noted, the Democrats became increasingly "desperate" as they watched Youngkin's raucous rallies compared to McAuliffe's "modest and listless" crowds.
From Poltico's Playbook on Tuesday:
TERRY MCAULIFFE wanted GLENN YOUNGKIN and DONALD TRUMP to campaign together so badly that when it didn't happen, McAuliffe simply invented a Youngkin-Trump event that didn't exist.
“Guess how Glenn Youngkin is finishing his campaign?" McAuliffe told a modest crowd outside a Fairfax brewery Monday night at his final rally. “He is doing an event with Donald Trump here in Virginia."
That was a lie. Trump wasn't in Virginia and he never campaigned with Youngkin, though he did make the case for the GOP candidate — “fantastic guy!" — during a brief “tele-rally."
Thirty miles away, at the Loudoun County Fairgrounds, a crowd several times the size of McAuliffe's was waiting for Youngkin to take the stage. You got a hint of why McAuliffe was desperate to manufacture the fake Trump event. While McAuliffe has boundless energy — “Sleep when you're dead!" he likes to say — his Monday audiences in Richmond and Fairfax, where we caught up with him, were modest and listless.
Youngkin's were large and rollicking, with many of the trappings of a MAGA rally — a similar dad rock playlist, hats and flags and T-shirts paying homage to the former president — but, to the great disappointment of Democrats, not Trump himself.
But the lie was to no avail.
No media echo chamber repeating the lie.
McAuliffe even admitted to reporters Monday that "from a political perspective" Trump not inserting himself into the Virginia race was a letdown, Politico noted. And CNN reported that the Democrat lamented that Trump no longer was on Twitter.
The final RealClearPolitics average for the Virginia governor race had Youngkin up 1.7 points.