Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate for Virginia governor, endorsed a 2008 statement by then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D., N.Y.) comparing changes to how Democratic presidential delegates were counted to slavery.
McAuliffe’s endorsement of Clinton’s comparison could undermine his attacks on his Republican opponent in the Virginia race, state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, for his own slavery comparison.
McAuliffe’s defense of Clinton’s statement came in response to a question from “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace:
WALLACE: This week Senator Clinton compared the decision to strip Florida and Michigan of all of their delegates to slavery, to the election in Zimbabwe where a dictator is trying to hold onto power, to the recount in Florida. Does she really see parallels there?
MCAULIFFE: What she sees is 2.5 million people who went to polls, who voted, who were certified at the county and at the state level. We are not a nation of 48 states. We’re a nation of 50 states.
We have to make sure — they have already paid a price, these two states. The rule worked. Other states didn’t move up. We got to protect the sanctity of Iowa and New Hampshire. They paid a huge price. Nobody campaigned in their states.
Now we need to look toward the November election. We have to win Florida and Michigan. These are key states for us in the electoral college. We can’t have 2.5 million people who went and voted.
McAuliffe chaired Clinton’s campaign during her unsuccessful 2008 bid for the Democratic nomination for president.
Over time, the truth demonstrates its own rightness, and its own righteousness. Our experience as a country has demonstrated that on one issue after another. Start right at the beginning — slavery. Today, abortion.
History has shown us what the right position was, and those were issues that were attacked by people of faith aggressively to change the course of this country. We need to fight for the respect for life, not just for life but for respect for life. One leads to the other.”
A request for comment submitted through McAuliffe’s campaign website was not returned.