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CNN’s Victor Blackwell had a contentious interview with Democratic National Committee chairman Jaime Harrison about whether it was a good idea for Democrats to keep campaigning on the platform of opposing former President Donald Trump.

Harrison spoke to Blackwell on Thursday to talk about the DNC’s level of confidence in Virginia and other states where they’ve been spending money to boost Democratic candidates.

Harrison lauded Terry McAuliffe over his political record, but he also blasted McAuliffe’s Republican gubernatorial rival Glenn Youngkin, calling him “dangerous” and a “Trump acolyte.”

Blackwell acknowledged that Youngkin is facing a dilemma since he has flirted with Trump’s Big Lie about the 2020 Election while also trying to appeal to moderates. The CNN anchor turned to Harrison and asked, “if he is as much of a Trump acolyte as you say he is, why isn’t Terry McAuliffe walking away with this?”

“Less than a year ago, President [Joe] Biden beat former President Trump by ten points, the largest victory for a Democrat since 1944 in Virginia,” Blackwell said. “If he’s a Trump acolyte, this shouldn’t be a concern, should it?”

“You can’t take anything for granted in politics,” Harrison replied. After listing several criticisms of Youngkin, Harrison described the Republican as a Trump “mimic” who will carry out the ex-president’s attacks on the 2020 election’s legitimacy.

“Mr. Chairman, you have said Donald Trump more than you have said Glenn Youngkin, and Glenn Youngkin more than you have said Terry McAuliffe here,” Blackwell observed. He then began to question Harrison on whether Washington gridlock is weakening McAuliffe’s chances, and whether Democrats failed to live up to the promises they made.

“Why should they believe this promise when you didn’t come through on the other two?” He asked.

Harrison retorted by invoking the American Rescue Plan, but Blackwell countered “That’s one out of six. Is one out of six a record you want to take back to the voters in 2022?”

“It’s not one out of six,” Harrison responded, arguing for the significance of the bill.

“I get you want us to focus on the one bill you got passed,” Blackwell said, as Harrison retorted “It was one heck of a bill.”

The conversation went on with Blackwell grilling Harrison over several areas where Democrats have been slipping.
When the interview came to a close, Blackwell’s co-anchor Alisyn Camerota called it a “spicy” conversation between the two.

Watch above, via CNN.

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Youngkin ad features mother who pushed to have Beloved banned from sons curriculum

Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin released a new ad on Monday, featuring a mother who pushed to have the 1987 novel "Beloved" banned from her son's English curriculum in Fairfax County, Va. roughly eight years ago. 

Laura Murphy is the centerpiece of the 60-second ad, titled "McAuliffe Shut Us Out," which details her push to require schools to tell parents if books in their child's curriculum contained explicit content and allow students to opt-out of reading the material.  Murphy said she met with lawmakers, who agreed with her on the issue. 

"It was bipartisan. It gave parents a say, the option to choose an alternative for my children," Murphy said. "But then Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed it twice. He doesn't think parents should have a say. He said that. He shut us out." 

Murphy, whose son Blake was a high school senior at the time, did not detail that the content in question was the Toni Morrison novel, which tells the story of former slaves after the Civil War and depicts some of the horrors of slavery in graphic detail. However, a resurfaced Washington Post article from 2013, featured an interview with Murphy and her son. 

Blake Murphy told the publication that the book was "disgusting" and "hard for him to handle," adding that he eventually gave up on it. 

Murphy said she did not want the book banned completely, rather until new policies that addressed explicit material for students were put in place. 

“I’m not some crazy book burner,” Murphy said. “I have great respect and admiration for our Fairfax County educators. The school system is second to none. But I disagree with the administration at a policy level.”

Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe has argued that the legislation would have led to censorship and the banning of books. He released a statement on Monday, accusing Youngkin of "book banning and silencing esteemed Black authors is a racist dog whistle." 

“I have long said that Glenn Youngkin is using our schools and children as political pawns to advance his and Trump’s dangerous, out-of-touch and bigoted agenda here in Virginia. Doing so is disturbing, disgusting and disqualifying," McAuliffe said. "Do not be deceived, this is yet another example of Glenn Youngkin’s full embrace of Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' MORE, and Virginians will reject both Youngkin and Trump at the polls next week.”

Youngkin's campaign fired back, citing 18 Virginia Democratic lawmakers who supported the legislation that McAuliffe vetoed. 

"The bipartisan bills McAuliffe vetoed would simply have notified parents of sexually explicit reading assignments and given them the choice of having their own child receive an alternative," Youngkin's campaign said. "McAuliffe continues to confirm every day that he wants to silence parents because he doesn’t believe they should have a say in their child’s education."

The latest back-and-forth comes as Youngkin and his GOP allies have sought to make education and parents' rights issues a major piece of their campaign message one week out from Election Day.

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