September 2, 2017 News & Press Releases · Press Releases and Announcements

Day 22: Week in Review: Ed Gillespie Channels Donald Trump

by Democratic Party of Virginia

Day 22: Week in Review: Ed Gillespie Channels Donald Trump

Why is Ed Gillespie more comfortable courting the neo-Confederate wing of his party than standing up to Donald Trump?

For 22 days now, Gillespie has said nothing about Trump’s vile defense of the white supremacists at Charlottesville. Instead he’s adopted Corey Stewart’s “vicious, ruthless” campaign tactics — and styled himself as Virginia’s very own mini-Trump. As theHuffington Post reported last night, Gillespie “has begun to echo the right-wing populism of President Donald Trump.” Washington Post columnist Peter Galuszka went even further, noting that the moderates who once dominated the Republican Party of Virginia have now been displaced by extremists. In direct response, Galuszka notes, “Gillespie is trying to shed his nice-guy image and become more abrasive in the manner of President Trump.”

The proof of Gillespie’s transformation? In the past few weeks alone the Gillespie campaign sent a fundraising email that echoed the President’s attacks on The Washington Post, ran amisleading ad criticizing Ralph Northam for “supporting something that doesn’t exist,” andbrought onboard noted conspiracy theorist and Corey Stewart acolyte Jack Morgan.

It’s a stunning transformation for a party once dominated by moderates like John Warner. As The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin wrote, by courting “race-baiters and white-grievance mongers,” the Gillespie campaign has moved to “forfeit their own integrity and make the entire party offensive to everyone else.”


Huffington Post: Virginia Republican Channels Donald Trump In New Campaign Tone
In a new negative ad and revved-up rhetoric, Ed Gillespie, the Republican nominee for Virginia governor, has begun to echo the right-wing populism of President Donald Trumpin his bid to defeat Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in the November election.

Washington Post: Gillespie hires Trump operative who believes country is on verge of civil war and effort to take down Confederate monuments is a Communist plot
An evangelical preacher, motivational speaker and self-defense entrepreneur in Southwest Virginia, Morgan worked for Gillespie’s opponent, Corey A. Stewart, in the GOP gubernatorial primary. He has warned that the country is on the brink of civil war and that communists are behind the effort to take down Confederate statues.

Washington Jewish Week: Jewish pols to Gillespie: ‘Condemn Trump’
“‘Very fine people’ don’t march with people who are holding Nazi flags and chanting anti-Semitic slogans,” the letter says.

Washington Post: Jennifer Rubin: Ed Gillespie goes off the deep end, increases GOP’s unacceptability in Virginia
If Trump can turn Ed Gillespie into a Confederate flag-waver, then the GOP really has lost any claim to be the Party of Lincoln.

Daily Beast: Lowest Common Denominator: The Fight Over Confederate Statues May Lose Him the Virginia Governor’s Race
“‘No one who knows Ed Gillespie thinks for a moment he believes this nonsense,’ Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, told The Daily Beast, referring specifically to Morgan’s remarks about communists. ‘But this is about winning, and apparently he’s willing to do whatever it takes to win a difficult race.’”

Staunton News Leader: LTE: How gullible does Gillespie think we are on taxes?
Well, I did the math and you’d have to be naive or gullible to believe it. Of course, Republicans like Gillespie like tax cuts because they favor the very rich, millionaires like himself...Crumbs for most Virginians, riches for Gillespie, his friends and wealthy donors.

ThinkProgress: Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate attacks Democrat for supporting something that doesn’t exist
A new ad released by Ed Gillespie’s (R) gubernatorial campaign attacks Democratic candidate Ralph Northam for supporting something that doesn’t exist.

Washington Post: Column: Trumpism infects the Virginia GOP
Hard-right Virginia Republicans are becoming more influential in the run-up to November’s gubernatorial election in which Republican nominee Ed Gillespie is trying to shed his nice-guy image and become more abrasive in the manner of President Trump. This shows, again, how Trump’s political style brings out the worst in people and plays to white supremacists.

Daily Kos: Fear and loathing on the campaign trail '17: Ed Gillespie's getting desperate
Fear is a bad look for a candidate. Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie has it smeared all over his face and oozing from every pore.