Richmond, VA — This week was another exposé in dangerous extremism and insurmountable disarray in the Virginia Republican primary. The candidates continued to display far-right views, they continued attacking each other and the Virginia GOP, and they once again shamefully refused to condemn blatant racism in their own ranks.
With Amanda Chase visiting Donald Trump in Florida this weekend, the chaotic madness of the Virginia Republican primary will only continue escalating in the next two weeks ahead of the GOP convention. Here’s the week in review.
Candidates Espoused Extremism, Sparred at a Liberty University Forum
This week, Virginia Republicans gathered at Liberty University for a forum where they spent the evening espousing their out of touch views and support for extreme, far-right policies. There were deranged election conspiracy theories, hard line opposition to gun safety reforms, and not a word was spoken about beating COVID-19 or doing anything to protect Virginians’ health care.
While the Republican candidates who attended spent most of the forum proving they are too extreme for Virginia, they also made time to attack and demean each other personally. Glenn Youngkin, who is being attacked viciously and bizarrely every day, degradingly told Kirk Cox that he wanted to offer him a job if he were elected governor. Cox appeared embarrassed, but he did not find the courage to respond.
Virginia Republicans Earn A Ratings from the NRA
On Wednesday, the NRA released its ratings of the Republican candidates, awarding straight A’s to every candidate -- except for Glenn Youngkin, who put forth an embarrassingly weak excuse for not filling out the NRA survey. Youngkin’s campaign scrambled to assure Republicans he is just as extreme as his fellow candidates, putting out a statement in which Youngkin compares himself to Donald Trump and claimed to be a “lifetime member” of the NRA.
Unsurprisingly, Kirk Cox and Amanda Chase were given A’s for their identical, far-right legislative records opposing all major gun safety reforms. Snyder, who has been endorsed by former NRA president Oliver North and held a “second amendment rally” on the eve of the anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting, was also given an A.
These ratings are just the latest sign that the GOP candidates are far too extreme for Virginians, who overwhelmingly support common sense gun safety measures.
Candidates Ring Alarm Bells About the GOP Convention
With just over two weeks to go until the disastrous, chaotic GOP convention, three Republican candidates teamed up to raise alarm about the Virginia GOP’s vote counting plan, saying that the party’s technology “cannot be trusted” to tabulate votes on May 8th. Kirk Cox, Amanda Chase, and Glenn Youngkin wrote a letter to the Republican Party of Virginia, saying in part that:
“The current method for counting, tabulating, and calculating the votes being recommended by the Rules Committee utilizes untested and unproven software that creates uncertainty, lacks openness and transparency, and is inconsistent with our calls as a party for safe and secure elections.”
This, of course, comes as all of the candidates continue advancing deranged conspiracies about the 2020 election and trafficking in the same dangerous election rhetoric as Donald Trump. This letter illustrates just how profound the suspicions and corruption allegations run in this disastrous Republican primary.
Orthodox Jews Vote Blocked From Voting in GOP Convention
Due to the fact that the upcoming GOP convention is on a Saturday, Orthodox Jews -- or any other people with religious obligations -- cannot vote in the Republican primary. Earlier this month, a group of Orthodox rabbis requested a change to these rules, writing to the Republican Party of Virginia Chairman that:
Orthodox Jews observe the Sabbath from Friday sunset until Saturday nightfall [...] As such, it would be impossible for Jews of faith to vote in your unassembled convention.
We take no position on political candidates or political parties and would be writing Democratic Party officials had they also held a party canvass or convention on the Jewish Sabbath.
The proposal to make this change was put on the agenda for the most recent RPV meeting, but Virginia Republicans failed to approve absentee voting for Orthodox Jews who requested the change. This disastrous, exclusionary decision was slammed by Republicans themselves, who are only growing angrier at their own party by the day. One committee member said that “we talk about voter integrity and we’re trying to suppress the vote,” and former Congressman Denver Riggleman called it “Low IQ insanity from those in Virginia GOP.”
Virginia Republicans Display Racism and Cowardice After Chauvin Verdict
This week, after a jury delivered a guilty verdict against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd, Amanda Chase said that the verdict made her “sick” and that “the decision was politically motivated.” This put Chase in the company of far right figures like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Tucker Carlson who said similarly horrific things.
Although they had several opportunities, not a single Republican candidate stated even a word of condemnation for Chase’s despicable comments. It was incumbent upon them to do so in no uncertain terms, but they failed -- proving once again that there is no daylight between any of the extreme Republican candidates for governor.