November 2, 2017 News

Campaign in Crisis: Gillespie Campaign Stumbles in the Final Stretch


by Prateek Mishra

Campaign in Crisis: Gillespie Campaign Stumbles in the Final Stretch

Unfortunately For Gillespie, The Coverage Speaks For Itself

In the final, crucial days leading up to the election, the deep deficiencies in Gillespie’s fear-based campaign have been exposed — again and again — by the media.

From New York Times columnist Thomas Edsall’s declaration that “it would be hard to find a better example of the ‘corrupt Washington establishment’ that President Trump calls ‘the swamp’ than Ed Gillespie” to the Washington Post’s acknowledgement that even Republicans think Gillespie has taken the fear-mongering too far, it is clear that the Gillespie campaign is floundering in the final stretch.

Meanwhile, the Northam campaign has seen an increase in enthusiasm and momentum at campaign events throughout the Commonwealth. Democratic surrogates including President Obama, Senator Kamala Harris, and Senator Cory Booker continue to promote the ticket’s optimistic vision for Virginia and energize Democrats before Election Day:

It’s easy to see why the Gillespie campaign is grabbing at straws — the coverage speaks for itself:

New York Times Column: The Trumpification of Ed Gillespie
It would be hard to find a better example of the “corrupt Washington establishment” that President Trump calls “the swamp” than Ed Gillespie. Gillespie is not, of course, presenting himself to Virginians as a swamp creature. Instead, with the election just five days away, Gillespie is showing two different faces to voters.

Washington Post: Gillespie too embarrassed to appear with the candidate he’s imitating
Rather than pivot away from Stewart, who is a mini-me version of Trump, Gillespie made a fateful decision to run after Stewart’s base — with appeals to preserve Confederate statues and ads with grainy images of Hispanic gang members, whom he linked to sanctuary cities (which don’t exist in Virginia).

The Hill Column: Virginians' choice: Two life stories, but what a difference
Gillespie, who made millions of dollars being a lobbyist before he decided to run for elective office, conveniently omits listing his company in his official biography. Instead, he puts forth a phony Horatio Alger TV ad of being a grandson of a janitor.

Washington Post: Once a voice for a big-tent GOP, Gillespie faces criticism from unexpected source: Republicans
In recent days, Republican allies and strategists, as well as longtime Gillespie associates, have also voiced critiques, including some on social media. “These ads are, frankly, very disappointing to me,” said Cardenas, the Cuban-born former head of Florida’s GOP.  “I can just imagine a justification by the campaign, but I’m not sure we’re a better country if we accept these norms.”

Salon: Gerrymander? Maybe it should be called the Ed Gillespie-mander
And Ed Gillespie, who could well be elected Virginia governor on Tuesday, is directly responsible for today’s gerrymandering-on-steroids. Gillespie chaired the powerful Republican State Leadership Committee in 2010 and helped design, execute and raise tens of millions of dollars for the Redistricting Majority Project.

Washington Post: To become Virginia’s governor in Trump’s America, Gillespie embraces culture wars
“His personal style is the big-tent Republican in him,” said Bob Holsworth, a veteran observer of Virginia politics. “But the campaign has a strong dose of Trumpism.”... “When you are behind, you have to shoot every arrow in your quiver,” said Madrid, an expert on the behavior of Latino voters. “But you are creating generational problems to win short-term election cycles, and that’s the California story.”

US News: Trump Forces High-Wire Act for Republican in Virginia Governor's Race
But ask them about Ed Gillespie, the Republican candidate for Virginia governor in next Tuesday's election, and they show little enthusiasm. “I would like somebody who’s more closely aligned with Trump,” Ralph Waller, who is Mike Waller's uncle, said from the shop floor, racks of pawned rifles behind him. Gillespie is a Washington lobbyist who worked in President George W. Bush's White House, the kind of establishment mainstay Trump bashed on the campaign trail.

Washington Post: Gillespie emphasizes common background with Rubio as protesters call him racist
Outside a rally for Ed Gillespie with Sen. Marco Rubio in Loudoun County on Monday night, immigrant rights activists labeled the Republican candidate for governor racist for a campaign that they say scapegoats immigrants.

Mother Jones: Ed Gillespie Just Gave a Speech to the NAACP. It Sounded Nothing Like His Real Campaign
What was missing Saturday was the campaign Gillespie is actually running. Gillespie spoke and answered questions for 25 minutes, but in that time he never once mentioned the gang MS-13, the subject of an ad campaign that has been running seemingly on loop in Virginia for two months.

Washington Post: Gillespie took partisan mapmaking to a new level. Try turning that into a bumper sticker
While he is better known as the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, a Washington lobbyist and a counselor to President George W. Bush, Gillespie helped pull off a stunning political coup — one that gave Republicans unprecedented muscle to reshape the nation’s congressional maps to their advantage.

NBC News: GOP Attack Ads Linking Gangs to Immigration Rankle Latino Advocates
“It’s a clear hate attack against the Latino and immigrant community,” Gustavo Torres, president of CASA in Action, the political arm of an immigrants advocacy group, said of the Virginia ad. “It’s a strategy from Trump that now the Republican candidates are using because they believe that could be a win for them. They would be wrong.”

Washington Post Editorial: Ed Gillespie has a recipe for Metro disaster
Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie is dodging, ducking and deflecting questions of how to put Metro on a firm financial footing... Mr. Gillespie would enable a future of infinitely movable goal posts — vague metrics that Metro will never manage to meet to the satisfaction of Richmond.

Mother Jones: You Can’t Back White Nationalist Shrines and Complain When You’re Linked to White Nationalists
A few months after Heyer’s death, Gillespie became more opportunistic about the statues Spencer and his fellow torch-carriers have fought to protect, and he has now put out two ads specifically hammering Northam for wanting to “take our statues down.”

Huffington Post: I Grew Up Gay And Undocumented. I’m Done Hiding In Closets And Shadows.
Following in the footsteps of Donald Trump, Ed Gillespie is running a xenophobic and homophobic campaign that makes it clear how much we have to fear from a Gillespie administration. Throughout his campaign, he has aired hateful, fear-mongering ads that criminalize people of color and make erroneous links between immigrants and MS-13 gang violence. He has also consistently opposed LGBTQ rights, from opposing marriage equality to supporting anti-trans legislation.

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