Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said Thursday he was “really shocked” to see his state’s Republican ticket embrace “dangerous lies” about the 2020 election at a “Take Back Virginia” rally on Wednesday night.
During the rally, where the former President Donald Trump of those in attendance roughly, individuals present were led to the Pledge of Allegiance before a flag that event hosts said was at Trump’s “peaceful” rally on Jan. 6, the day rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol to protest the President’s certification Joe Bidenelection victory.
Northam, a Democrat, held a press conference for the purpose of tackling what he described as “a truly disruptive political rally for Glenn Youngkin, his runners and his most recent campaign.”
Youngkin, a Republican, is running to be Virginia’s next governor. He did not attend Wednesday’s rally. Trump first endorsed Youngkin in May and reiterated his support for Youngkin when he called the event Wednesday night.
Northam played video footage from the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and said he was making a statement to the COVID-19 press that day when he began receiving calls for help from the House Speaker. Nancy Pelosi and “many” U.S. senators. Northam objected to “Take Back Virginia” organizers ’description of Trump’s Jan. 6 rally as“ peaceful ”:“ If it was so peaceful, why do we need 200 state troops and National Guard to restore order and protect the lives? “
Northam said that while he “wants to believe” the events on Jan. 6 will stop with “lies and attempts to overthrow our democracy,” he said that’s not what it looks like. “Instead, we increasingly see that January 6th is not the end, but the beginning,” he said.
“As a Virginian, as a veteran and as an American, I was truly shocked to see Glenn Youngkin and the all-encompassing Republican ticket to embrace dangerous inaccuracies,” Northam said. “Last night’s rally featured both old lies about the 2020 election and the truly offensive celebration of an attempted coup.”
The governor went on to address Youngkin’s focus on election integrity throughout his campaign and his recent calls to audit the state’s voting machines.
“All of these actions are intended to create doubt in our elections. They are intended to continue Donald Trump’s attempts to undermine American democracy,” Northam said. “But words have consequences. Dangerous rhetoric is dangerous. This, Mr. Youngkin, is not a game. When political candidates deliberately deny facts and facts and fire the flames of conspiracy, all in pursuit of power, they take very good. dangerous steps. “
Throughout the press conference, Northam stood behind a podium featuring a “Terry for Virginia” sign and in front of a backdrop featuring Democratic Party of the Virginia logo. Terry McAuliffe, the Democrat running against Youngkin in Virginia’s Nov. 2 gubernatorial election, condemned the rally on Wednesday and earlier Thursday called Youngkin to denounce both the event and Trump’s “dangerous lie”.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Youngkin said, “I’m not involved, and so I don’t know” when pressed about rally attendees pledging allegiance to the flag during the Jan. 6 rally.
“If that’s the case, then we shouldn’t pledge allegiance to that flag,” Youngkin said. “And, of course,” he added, “I’m very clear: There is no place for violence – no, no – in America today.”
Newsweek reached Youngkin’s campaign for comment about the “Take Back Virginia” rally but did not receive a response in time for publication.